A fire marshal with the Fort Smith Fire Department shared some recommendations for smoke alarms.
Roughly two-thirds of home fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms, according to a news release from the Fort Smith Fire Department. When smoke alarms should have worked but failed to operate, it is usually because the batteries were missing, disconnected or depleted.
Fort Smith Fire Marshal Carey "Hootie" St. Cyr offers the following guidelines for residential smoke alarms:
• Test all the smoke alarms in your home monthly to make sure they are working by pressing the test button.
• Make sure everyone in your household understands the sound of the smoke alarm and knows how to respond.
• Replace smoke alarms when they are 10 years old by checking the date on the back of the alarm. If there is no date, the alarm is more than 10 years old. This includes hard wired alarms.
• Replace the smoke alarm immediately if it does not respond properly when tested.
• Smoke alarms with nonreplaceable, or long-life, batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years. If the alarm chirps, it is a warning that the battery is low, so replace the entire smoke alarm as soon as possible.
• For smoke alarms with any other type of battery, replace batteries at least once a year. If the alarm chirps, replace only the battery.
• Smoke alarms should be installed in every bedroom, outside every sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement. Large homes may require more alarms.
For more information about the Fort Smith Fire Department, visit the Fort Smith Fire Department web page.