Monday, October 27, 2008

Change your clock......

...change you battery! In this case, change out the battery in your smoke alarms, since we all have more than one....right?

The program is based on a simple premise; when you change the time on your clock for daylight savings, change out the battery in those smoke alarms. This weekend, in the wee hours of November 1, early on November 2, we will once again reset our clocks and "fall back", so take a moment to change out those batteries in your alarms.

There are many different brands of smoke alarms available on the market but they fall under two basic types: ionization and photoelectric.

Ionization alarms sound more quickly when a flaming, fast moving fire occurs. Photoelectric alarms are quicker at sensing smoldering, smoky fires. There are also combination smoke alarms that combine ionization and photoelectric into one unit, called dual sensor smoke alarms.
Because both ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms are better at detecting distinctly different yet potentially fatal fires, and because homeowners cannot predict what type of fire might start in a home, the United States Fire Adminitration (USFA) recommends the installation of both ionization and photoelectric or dual sensor smoke alarms.

In addition to the basic types of alarms, there are alarms made to meet the needs of people with hearing disabilities. These alarms may use strobe lights that flash and/or vibrate to assist in alerting those who are unable to hear standard smoke alarms when they sound.

While you change out the batteries in your alarms at least once a year, you should consider changing your alarms themselves every 8-10 years, or, when you move into a new residence. Why? Do you trust your life to the former homeowner in hopes they changed the battery on the alarm regularly and maintained the alarm itself?

Having an alarm is only one part of your home safety plan. Ensure you have planned what to do in the event the alarm does sound and you have to exit your residence, not only in the light, but under the cover of darkness as well. Lastly, as I have said many times before, it is not enough to have a plan, you MUST practice the plan as well, your life, or the life of someone you love, depends on it.
For more information, visit the USFA's website: http://www.usfa.dhs.gov