SACRAMENTO — While a 2010 study by the National Fire Protection Association found that 96 percent of all homes have at least one smoke alarm, nearly two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. To help reduce the number of home fire fatalities, Cal Fire is reminding all Californians to make sure they have working smoke alarms in their homes.
“Smoke alarms give you and your family an early warning when there is a fire so you can quickly get outside,” said State Fire Marshal Tonya Hoover, Cal Fire-Office of the State Fire Marshal. “Smoke alarms save lives, but they must be in good working order and must be tested.”
Smoke alarms should be installed inside every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. While most smoke alarms come with 10-year batteries, Cal Fire recommends that you test your smoke alarm monthly to ensure it’s in good working order. Replace all smoke alarms after 10 years.
Families should also practice with their children what to do when there is a fire. Every family should sit down and create an escape plan with an outside meeting place. If the alarm goes off crawl low to the ground under the smoke and exit the home quickly. A neighbor’s yard or a sidewalk mailbox are common meeting places to ensure that everyone gets out safely. Families should practice home fire drills regularly.
Working smoke alarms increase the chance of surviving a home fire by 50 percent. A smoke alarm is a small price to help keep you and your family safe.
For more information on smoke alarms, please visit the Cal Fire’s Website at fire.ca.gov.