Charles County Volunteer Fire & EMS Association

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Important Reminder from the Charles County Volunteer Fire and EMS Departments = Smoke Alarms: Why and How?
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By Coordinator/Public Information Officer William Smith
May 30, 2018

The Facts...3 out of every 5 home fire deaths resulted from fires occurring in homes with no smoke alarms or non-working smoke alarms.
46% of homes that had smoke alarms but they did not operate was caused from missing or dead batteries.

Where?....Smoke alarms should be placed on every level of the home, in every sleeping area, and inside of every bedroom.
Smoke alarms should be placed away from vents and out of corners to avoid dust and dead air space.
If the ceiling is not fit for direct placement of smoke alarms, place alarm 6-12 inches down the wall.
Install at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance to minimize nuisance alarms. Never paint smoke alarms.

How?.......The NFPA recommends checking your smoke alarms weekly. At least once a month to maintain batteries and operation.
If still using 9-volt-battery-operated smoke alarms, replace your batteries every 6 months or when you change your clocks.

The 10-year Lithium-Ion battery smoke alarm has become the new standard. Replace your entire smoke alarm system ten years after the manufacturers date printed on smoke alarm.

Two Types......There are two types of smoke alarms: photoelectric and ionization.

Photoelectric smoke alarms generally respond more to smoldering fires.

Ionization smoke alarms respond more to flaming fires.

For the best protection dual-sensor smoke alarms are recommended. These smoke alarms have both photoelectric and ionization sensors.

Keep this in mind for your next smoke alarm purchase!

The new 10-Year Lithium-Ion Battery Smoke Alarms provide better coverage in case of a home fire. In Maryland, legislation has now been passed that as of January 2018 all 9-volt battery operated smoke alarms must be replaced with the 10-year Lithium-Ion battery Smoke Alarms. The operation of these new smoke alarms are in hopes to reduce home fire deaths throughout the state and they are more appealing than your average 9-volt smoke alarms.

More affordable overall, only purchase the smoke alarm. No need to purchase 9-volt batteries every six months.

Batteries are tamper-proof and cannot be removed. Allows for greater chance of response during a fire.

Still checked once a month for maintenance.

Entire system replaced 10 years from manufacturers date printed on smoke alarm.

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