The holidays are a time of joy and celebration, but they can also be a time of increased fire risk. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), more than one-third of home decoration fires are started by candles, and the top three days for home candle fires are Christmas, New Year’s Day, and New Year’s Eve. In addition, cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries, and the peak day for home cooking fires is Thanksgiving.
That’s why it’s important to check your smoke detectors before the holidays and make sure they are working properly. Smoke detectors can alert you and your family to a fire in its early stages, giving you enough time to escape safely. However, smoke detectors can only do their job if they are maintained correctly.
Here are some tips on how to keep your smoke detectors in good condition:
- Test your smoke detectors at least once a month by pressing the test button. You should hear a loud beep or alarm sound. If you don’t, replace the batteries or the unit as needed.
- Replace the batteries in your smoke detectors at least once a year, or whenever they start to chirp or make a low battery warning sound. A good reminder is to change the batteries when you change your clocks for daylight saving time.
- Replace your smoke detectors every 10 years, or according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Smoke detectors can wear out over time and become less sensitive to smoke.
- Clean your smoke detectors regularly by gently vacuuming or dusting them with a soft brush. Avoid painting or covering them with stickers or other decorations, as this can interfere with their operation.
- Install smoke detectors on every level of your home, inside each bedroom, and outside each sleeping area. For best protection, use interconnected smoke detectors that will sound simultaneously when one detects smoke.
By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your smoke detectors are ready to protect you and your loved ones from fire during the holidays and throughout the year. Remember, working smoke detectors save lives!