Almost every home in the U.S. has a smoke alarm but most do not have enough. Fire experts recommend installing alarms on every floor and inside and outside of every sleeping area. A recent survey by Kelton Research found less than a quarter of homeowners have applied this rule. A fire can double in size every 30 seconds. The sooner you hear a smoke alarm the more time you have to escape.
Also 75 percent of homes have a potential source of carbon monoxide (CO) but only half of the homes have a working CO alarm according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Produced by fossil fuel-burning appliances and engines CO can cause injury or death if it builds up in your home. A working CO alarm is the only safe way to detect this odorless and invisible gas.
Consider these questions from the experts at Kidde to determine if your home is safe from fire and CO dangers:
1. One in four older homes needs to update fire safety equipment. How old are your smoke and CO alarms? Replace your smoke alarms every 10 years and your CO alarms every seven to 10 years based on the model you purchased. Consider purchasing an alarm with a sealed lithium battery such as the Worry-Free smoke and CO alarms which provide hassle-free protection for 10 years. No need to change a battery and no low battery chirps.
2. Seventy-five percent of homeowners don't know where to install smoke alarms. Do you have enough? Place smoke alarms on every floor and inside/outside of all bedrooms. Place a CO alarm near sleeping areas and on each floor.
3. Do your alarms incorporate the newest features?
Sealed-in lithium battery - continuously powers alarm for 10 years and eliminates low battery chirps.
Digital display - shows the level of CO and updates the reading every 15 seconds.
Intelligent multi-sensor - responds faster to real fires & CO plus reduces nuisance alarms commonly caused by cooking.
4. Do you need other safety products? Do you have a fire extinguisher within reach in rooms where fires often begin: the kitchen garage bedroom and living areas. Place an escape ladder in second and third-floor rooms as an alternative escape route. And consider conducting a mold and radon test using a kit. A quick test shows levels of these environmental hazards that may be lurking in your home.
5. Have you developed a family escape plan? Be sure to make a plan for every room in the house and practice it regularly. Be familiar with two ways out of every room and who will assist children and those with mobility/health issues.
6. Do your children know their address and how to dial 911? Post your home address and emergency phone numbers on the refrigerator.