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Fire tips: Be safe with smoke alarms

  • Chad Atwood

One simple thing that we can all do to improve our level of fire safety at home is to make sure we have working smoke alarms. Smoke alarms are a key part of a home fire safety plan.

Smoke spreads fast when there is a fire and a working smoke alarms give you early warning, so you can get outside quickly. Roughly three out of five fire deaths happen in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.

There are several key tips to keep in mind when it comes to smoke alarms in your home:

• Smoke alarms should be install in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home.

• It is best to use interconnected smoke alarms that are designed so that when one smoke alarm sounds, they all sound.

• Test all smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.

• Consider using smoke alarms that include multisensing capability, which could include smoke and carbon monoxide combined.

• A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or high on a wall. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. They should be at least 10 feet from the stove.

• People who are hard-of-hearing or deaf can use special alarms that have strobe lights and bed shakers.

• All smoke alarms should be replaced when they are 10 years old.

The goal of a home fire safety plan is to reduce the chances of death or serious injury because of a fire. Working smoke alarms are a vital part of any safety plan and can go a long way in keeping you and your loved ones safe.

For more information, call Fire Marshal Chad Atwood directly at 843-726-7522.

Chad Atwood is the fire marshal for the town of Ridgeland. He is a graduate of the South Carolina Fire Academy.

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