Smoke alarms save lives. Smoke alarms that are properly installed and maintained play a vital role in reducing fire deaths and injuries. If there is a fire in your home, smoke spreads fast and you need smoke alarms to give you time to get out.
Here's what you need to know!
- A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home.
- Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound.
- Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
- Test your smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
- Today’s smoke alarms will be more technologically advanced to respond to a multitude of fire conditions, yet mitigate false alarms.
- When a smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside.
- Replace all smoke alarms in your home every 10 years.
- More about installation and maintenance of home smoke alarms.
Change your clocks, change your batteries
This year, on March 12, states throughout the U.S. will be turning their clocks forward. Many people will use this opportunity to change their home’s smoke alarm batteries as well.
NFPA's Dan Doofus reminds you to have enough smoke alarms in your home, test them monthly, and replace them every 10 years.
See more NFPA videos about smoke alarms
Facts and figures about smoke alarms
- In 2014-2018, smoke alarms sounded in more than half (54%) of the home fires reported to U.S. fire departments.
- Almost three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms (41%) or no working smoke alarms (16%).
- The death rate per 1,000 reported home fires was more than twice as high in homes that did not have any working smoke alarms compared to the rate in homes with working smoke alarms (13.0 deaths vs. 5.8 deaths per 1,000 fires).
- In fires in which the smoke alarms were present but did not operate, two of every five (41%) of the smoke alarms had missing or disconnected batteries.
- Dead batteries caused one-quarter (26%) of the smoke alarm failures.
Source: NFPA's "Smoke Alarms in US Home Fires" report
Smoke alarms in the news