Safeguarding Your Home

Smoke Alarms
Smoke detectors are an essential tool in securing your home. When properly located and maintained they can literally be a lifesaver.

Smoke detectors should be located in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms, not more than 10 feet away from the bedroom doors. If your alarm is frequently going off, it may need to be relocated. Smoke detectors may be too close to the kitchen, bathroom or heat register.

Proper maintenance of smoke alarms is necessary to insure that they are functioning properly. We recommend the following:
  • Clean the unit with a vacuum cleaner. Dust particles can and often do set off false alarms. Replace batteries as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • A good rule of thumb is when you change your clocks; change your smoke and carbon monoxide batteries. Replace old detectors; they do have a useful service life. In no case should a smoke detector be used from more than 10 years.
  • If your smoke alarm is frequently going off it may need to be cleaned, need new batteries, or need to be replaced due to old age. Also, it may need to be relocated because it is too close to the kitchen, bathroom or heat register. Consult the installation instructions.
Fire Extinguishers
The recommended extinguisher for home use is a “Dry Chemical” type, generally type 2A-10BC. Caution: Never put yourself or anyone else in jeopardy by trying to extinguish a fire which may be too large. Sound an alarm to other occupants, leave the building, closing all doors behind you and call the fire department (9-1-1). Go to your designated meeting place and wait for firefighters to arrive.

Storing a Fire Extinguisher
Store your fire extinguisher away from the stove, near the entrance to the kitchen. Mount the extinguisher on the bracket that is supplied with the extinguisher. In your workshop, mount the extinguisher away from power tools, near the exit.

Using a Fire Extinguisher

If you are called on to use your extinguisher to fight a fire, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions as listed on the unit. It is helpful to remember the acronym P.A.S.S.:
  • Pull on safety pin at the top of the extinguisher
  • Aim the nozzle, horn or hose at the base of the flame (6 to 8 feet away)
  • Squeeze or press the handle
  • Sweep from side to side at the base of the fire unit until it goes out
Never go back into a burning building!