Fire safety was a huge concern when I was in elementary school. I remember there being many fire drills and we had firefighters as guest speakers pretty often. We were always told to plan ahead with our families and have drills of our own. Even with all their preaching and effort, my smoke detectors remain inoperable . . .
46) Install Smoke Detectors
Nobody wants to be caught unprepared in a house fire, unable to reach an exit. Early warning is essential to fire safety. If you haven’t installed smoke detectors, or like me, haven’t replaced the batteries, here’s what you should do:
Save The Date: Replace your detectors every 7 or 8 years. Write the date of purchase on each detector so you know when its time to replace it.
Hang It High: Smoke rises, that’s common knowledge. Placing your smoke detectors on the floor or eye level simply won’t do. “Mount your detector on the ceiling away from windows and doors and at least 4 inches from the wall”.
Mount It Right: Follow the instructions that come with your smoke detectors. They are really easy to install, but mounting them improperly could result in less efficient detection.
Test It Often: Smoke detectors are built wth a button to allow testing. Simply press the button until you hear a loud beep. You’ll know its working if you hear the noise. If its silent, replace the batteries and test again. If it still remains silent, replace the entire detector with a new one.
Keep The Batteries Fresh: “If it starts making an annoying chirping sound, that’s your cue that it’s time for new juice”. Replacing the batteries is usually pretty simple, just make sure you follow the instructions and use new batteries.
I don’t really know why we haven’t been maintaining our smoke detectors. They used to go off a lot just because we have a wood burning stove in our house for heat. Its smokey, that’s just part of it. I think another reason is that we’re all so short. Maintaining the detectors requires a ladder for us and I guess we’re just too lazy. Of course, like all prepping, its best to take the time and be prepared than end up wishing you had prepared while you’re (hopefully) standing outside watching all your stuff burn up.
But don’t worry, “Fix smoke detectors” has been moved to the very top of my to-do list. If I survive the night without a fire, I intend to fix them tomorrow evening after work.
This post is a combination of my own opinions and information provided in Urban Survival Guide, by Rich Johnson. I don’t claim to be an expert and you should always do your own research before implementing anything you read online.