At least one smoke alarm should be located on each level of your home. It is recommended to add a smoke detector in each bedroom, particularly in those occupied by children.
Most manufacturers’ recommend that you replace your smoke alarm after ten years of use, regardless of condition. In order to maintain or ensure proper operation of these devices, batteries should be changed twice a year.
The effectiveness of smoke alarms is influenced by the location of the device. Smoke alarms should be installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations in order to operate correctly. As a general rule smoke alarms, if mounted on a wall, should be located no lower than 12 inches from the ceiling and no closer than 6 inches from the ceiling.
If the alarm is mounted on a flat ceiling it can be anywhere on the ceiling as long as it is at least 6 inches from any walls. Sloped ceilings or ceilings with obstructions such as beams or open joists may require the installation of additional devices in order to provide adequate detection.
A recent clinical test found that the sense of smell is actually lessened when people are asleep, and that smoke will disorient people, even in familiar surroundings. Most fire deaths occur in the winter months, December through February. Smoking materials, poorly installed, poorly maintained or misused portable, or area heating equipment, are the leading causes of fatal home fires.
Approximately 1100 children under the age of 15 die in house fires each year, sadly 90% of these deaths occur in homes without smoke detectors. 92% of all American homes have smoke detectors, however nearly one-third of these detectors do not work because of worn or missing batteries. Working smoke detectors cut the risk of dying in a house fire by nearly 50%, by providing an early warning and critical extra seconds to escape.
If you have questions regarding the type and/or location of these devices contact the Rutland City Fire Department at 802-773-1812.