HOME FIRE SAFETY
According to FEMA (federal Emergency Management Agency), 52% of residential fire fatalities occur in homes without smoke detectors. If you are a Portage Township resident and do not own a smoke detector, a carbon monoxide detector or your detectors are more than 10 years old it's time to GET ALARMED!!! The majority of deadly fires in the home occur between 12 midnight and 8 am. Many people who die in fires, die from breathing in the poisonous gases and smoke. A smoke alarm acts as your nose at night to detect smoke. Smoke alarms are designed to provide early warning if installed and maintained accordingly to the owner's manual. Where to install smoke alarms:
**One on every level of the home
**One in every sleeping area and in all bedrooms
**In hallways near sleeping areas and storage areas
Follow the user's manual which is included with your smoke alarm. Remember, smoke, heat and gases arise. Smoke alarms on the ceiling should not be closer than 4 inches to any wall or corner. Wall mounted smoke alarms should be at least 4 inches but no more than 12 inches from the ceiling.
Locations to avoid placement
** Kitchens and garages(poor ventilation)
** Very damp or steamy areas(bathrooms & showers)
** Very dusty or greasy areas
** Close to a ceiling fan or near air vents
What kind of smoke alarm is best?
Look for the Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) Mark or Factory Mutual (FM) approved symbol on the unit or box. Battery operated provides protection if the batteries are fresh and correctly installed. Hard wired permanently wired into the homes electrical system. It may also have a battery backup in case of a power failure.
Smoke alarms have a limited life!!!
Your smoke alarm unit should be replaced immediately if it is not operating properly. It is recommended you replace a smoke alarm after 10 years. How to keep a smoke alarm working:
** Smoke alarms should be tested once a month
** Batteries should be changed every 6 months. (to make it easier to remember, change your batteries when you set your clocks forward or behind.)
** If your alarm is making a chirping noise it needs a new battery
** Keep your smoke alarm clean; vacuum it at least once a month
** Never paint a smoke alarm
Make an Escape Plan
**Make sure everyone knows what your smoke alarm sounds like.
**Have a plan with two ways out of each room and practice it!
**Have a safe meeting place (i.e. Tree in the front yard, mailbox at the road)
**Call 9-1-1 from a safe phone
**Once you are outside of the house, STAY OUT!!! NEVER go back inside.