Click here to learn more or apply to PROJECT S.A.F.E. Smoke Alarms for Everyone
I get a false alarm from my smoke alarm. Why does my smoke alarm sound when I can't see smoke? Any of the following situations can cause a false alarm from your smoke alarm:
• The cover or sensor chamber may be covered by dust or dirt. Alarms may look clean, but dust can accumulate inside the cover, even in newly built homes. Gently vacuum your smoke alarm regularly using the soft brush attachment.
• Insects may have clogged the sensor chamber. Clean the smoke alarm with the soft brush attachment on your vacuum.
• You may have experienced a power interruption. Hardwired smoke alarms may sound briefly when power is interrupted then restored.
• If you have hard wired smoke alarms, you may have a loose electrical connection on your AC or AC/DC smoke alarm. In AC or AC/DC smoke alarms, loose connections can intermittently disconnect power to the smoke alarm. The effect is the same as a power failure. When power is restored, the units may sound briefly.
My smoke alarm keeps chirping and beeping. Why does my smoke alarm chirp intermittently?
It is likely that the reason your smoke alarm keeps chirping and beeping is that the battery is low. Whenever your smoke alarm keeps chirping, replace the battery immediately.
• Some of the same factors that cause unwanted alarms can cause intermittent alarms: dust and insects in the alarm or power interruptions in hardwired alarms.
• Improper wiring on AC or AC/DC smoke alarms. AC alarms will chirp every 5 seconds if the interconnect wire is grounded. The orange interconnect wire should NEVER be grounded; it should only be used to interconnect other smoke alarms or compatible device
When I am testing my smoke alarm, why doesn't my smoke alarm sound when I push the test button? It is important that you frequently test your smoke alarms. When you are testing your smoke alarm, there are a number of reasons why the alarm might not sound.
• You may not be holding the test button down long enough. Try holding it down for up to 10 seconds (20 seconds on photoelectric models).
• Your battery may not be installed properly or snapped all the way in place. Even if the alarm sounded briefly when the battery touched the terminals, you still need to make sure it is snapped securely in place. If the battery is loose, in cannot power the smoke alarm properly. After installing new batteries, be sure to test your smoke alarm.
• Your AC power may not be on. AC and AC/DC units will have a power indicator light (red or green) that shines continuously when they are receiving electrical power.
• If you have a 10-Year model, the smoke alarm may not have been properly activated. If the tab broke away before the alarm was activated, you can use a toothpick to move the switch over to test the alarm.
Why does my smoke alarm go off when I install a battery or turn on the AC power? It is normal for the smoke alarms to go off and sound briefly (up to 5-10 seconds) when you install a new battery or when they are powered up. If the alarm continues to go off and no smoke is present, the cause may be one of the following:
• There may be insufficient battery power. Try new batteries.
• Problems with voltage or insufficient electrical power (brown out) may cause a continuous weak sounding alarm. For AC or AC/DC models, temporarily disconnect power at the service panel until the brown out is over. If you do not restore the AC power, your smoke alarms cannot warn you of a fire.
• Incompatible warning device. If an incompatible alarm or auxiliary device is linked into a series of AC or AC/DC smoke alarms it may cause the system inadvertently go off.
My smoke alarm keeps chirping, even with a new battery. What is causing this? There are a number of possible causes for your smoke alarm to keep chirping even with a new battery.
• It is possible that your smoke alarm "silence" button was pushed by mistake. The alarm will now "chirp" once a minute for up to 15 minutes before resetting.
• Are you sure it's the smoke alarm? Funny to ask, but other devices have similar low battery chirps or warning tones.
• Your "new" batteries may not be fresh. If batteries are stored, especially in cold areas like refrigerators, they lose their charge more quickly. Always check the freshness date on the package when buying new batteries. Keep plenty of replacement batteries on hand so that you are sure to always be protected by your smoke alarms.
I'm ready to change my smoke alarm battery - what replacement batteries can I use? Check your User's Manual or the nameplate on the back of the alarm. Different smoke alarms use different kinds of batteries - 9V, AA, AAA - it all depends on the particular model you have. Use quality batteries like lithium smoke alarm batteries - having plenty of power is worth any extra cost. Never use rechargeable batteries because they may not always provide a consistent charge.
How long will the smoke alarm battery last in my smoke alarm? Actual battery service life depends on the particular design of your smoke alarm and the environment in which it is installed. All kinds of alarm batteries specified in the users manual are acceptable replacement batteries. Regardless of the manufacturer's suggested battery life, you MUST replace the batteries immediately once the unit starts "chirping" (the "low battery warning"). It is recommended that you change the batteries in your alarms when you change your clocks for daylight saving time.
What is the proper placement of smoke alarms? It is important that you have the proper placement for your smoke alarms. Install your alarms at least 20 feet from appliances like furnaces and ovens, which produce combustion particles. Alarms should be at least 10 feet from high humidity areas like showers and laundry rooms, and at least 3 feet from heat/AC vents. Be sure to install a smoke alarm in each bedroom, and one at the top of each stairwell.
Why does the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend that home smoke alarms be replaced after 10 years? Smoke alarms have a limited life. Although each smoke alarm and all of its parts have passed many stringent tests and are designed to be as reliable as possible, any of these parts could fail over time. Therefore, you must test the devices weekly. The unit should be replaced immediately if it is not operating properly. The performance of smoke alarms older than 10 years is simply not reliable.
Ionization smoke alarms vs. Photoelectric smoke alarms - what is the difference? There are generally two types of smoke alarms - ionization smoke alarms and photoelectric smoke alarms. Smoke particles of a varying number and size are produced in all fires. Ionization smoke alarms are generally more sensitive than photoelectric smoke alarms at sensing small particles, which tend to be produced in greater amounts by hot, flaming fires that are consuming combustible materials rapidly and may spread quickly. Sources of these fires may include paper burning in a wastebasket, or a grease fire in the kitchen. Photoelectric smoke alarms are generally more sensitive than ionization smoke alarms at sensing large smoke particles, which tend to be produced in greater amounts by smoldering fires, which may smolder for hours before bursting into flame. Sources of these fires may include cigarettes burning in couches or bedding. For maximum protection, use both types of technology in your home.
What is project S.A.F.E.? Smoke Alarms For Everyone is a project funded by a US Department of Homeland Security Assistance to Firefighters Fire Prevention and Safety Grant. The grant provides 10 year Lithium battery operated smoke alarms to be installed in qualifying homes in the Meridian City/Rural Fire District. The department will facilitate volunteers to install the alarms on a first come first serve basis while supplies last. The project also allows 350 deaf/hearing impaired residents to receive a device to assist them in the knowledge that their smoke alarms are going off while they are sleeping.
My home does not have operational smoke alarms; do I qualify? Homes without working smoke alarms are the homes we hope to install these alarms in first. Most deaths caused by fire in the home could be prevented if the family had operational smoke alarms.
Is there an application to get free smoke alarms for my home? Yes! You can access the application by clicking here
Carbon Monoxide- Keep Your Family Safe
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas, capable of causing sudden illness and death.
Each year, more than 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning, more than 20,000 Americans visit the emergency room from exposure to carbon monoxide and more than 4,000 Americans are hospitalized due to CO poisoning, according to the United States Fire Administration.
Carbon monoxide is found in combustion fumes, such as those produced by gas ranges and heating systems, cars and trucks, small gasoline engines, stoves, lanterns, burning charcoal and wood. Read full article...
Every 15 seconds a fire department responds to a fire somewhere in the United States. Most fires don’t happen in homes. But most fire deaths and injuries do. The major causes of fatal home fires throughout America are misplaced smoking materials, heating equipment, arson and children playing with matches or lighters. The United States and Canada have the highest fire death rates of any industrialized countries. Why? Our buildings are built to high standards and our fire departments are among the best in the world. The problem is people, and their lack of awareness about the importance of making fire safety a part of their everyday lives.
How long do you have to escape from a fire in your home?
When people were asked this question in a recent survey held by the Home Safety Council, they answered in ways that were surprising. Fifty eight percent said two minutes or more. Twenty four percent estimated they had more than 10 minutes to escape a home fire. The truth is, you may have much less time to escape than you think. A typical living room fire can threaten the entire house in just moments—producing life threatening conditions in less than two minutes after the smoke alarm sounds. Your family needs to know how to get out at the first sign of a home fire.
Don’t wait, plan your escape TODAY!
Every family should have a fire escape plan. Include everyone in the planning process. Draw your plan; marking two ways out of every room (include windows). Pick a meeting place outside well away from the building. Tell everyone to meet there after they have exited the building. That way you can count heads and tell the fire department if anyone’s trapped inside. Remind family members to never go back inside the building until emergency services clear the facility. Don’t forget to call the fire department from a safe location. Teach your children their addresses and emergency reporting telephone number (911).
Practice your plan
Plans are great, but the only way to know if they work is to practice them. Hold a home fire drill. Getting out of your own home sounds easy, but your home can look very different if it’s full of smoke. Children in particular need to practice. Children practice drills at school every month, but rarely at home. But fires are far more likely to happen at home. Have someone press the button on the smoke alarm as the signal for the drill to start. Get out quickly, but carefully. Follow your plan with everyone ending at the meeting place.
Prevention through Eduction
When Fire Strikes!