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Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector Safety

Maintain Smoke Alarm - Man adjusting smoke alarm

  • Smoke alarms save lives – if they are powered by a fresh battery. You should test them every month to make sure they work and replace the battery at least once a year, according to the National Fire Protection Association. If the alarm makes a "chirping" sound, replace it immediately. 
  • Replace all smoke alarms in your home every 10 years.
  • Smoke alarms should be located in every bedroom and in the common areas on each floor of a home. Mount them at least 10 feet from the stove to reduce false alarms, less than 12 inches from the ceiling and away from windows, doors and ducts.
  • Did you know smoke alarms can be interconnected wirelessly? That means, when one sounds, they all sound. A Consumer Product Safety Commission survey found this is the best way to notify everyone in a home if there is a fire.
  • Be sure to purchase smoke alarms with the label of a reputable testing agency, like Underwriters Laboratories (UL). 

Three out of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms, according to National Fire Protection Association.

 

Maintain CO Alarm - Hand holding CO Alarm

  • Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible, odorless gas, and it can kill you. Anything in the home that burns fuel can potentially become a source of carbon monoxide.
  • CO alarms should be installed in a central location outside each bedroom and on every level of the home.
  • The safety tips for CO detectors mirror those of smoke alarms: change the batteries, test them and interconnect them, if possible. 
  • Make sure vents for your gas appliances (fireplace, dryer, stove and furnace) are free and clear of snow or debris.