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Firehouse News: Every second counts

By Assistant Chief Davis - | Sep 17, 2021

According to National Fire Protection Association research conducted between 2014 and 2018, one-third of all reported structure fires either did not have smoke alarms present or were nonoperational. With the rapid spread of fire associated with modern homes and furnishings, working smoke alarms are an important part of each family’s home escape plan. Early notification is essential to ensure each family member has enough time to exit the structure before conditions become uninhabitable.    

To ensure families are protected, the District has compiled a list of information that everyone should know. The first is that each home has the correct number and types of alarms installed in their homes. The more sleeping areas in the home the more alarms that are required. It is also recommended that each alarm communicates with each other so that when one alarm goes off, all the alarms in the home go off. This ensures all occupants in the home are notified of the potential danger.

These alarms need to be tested monthly. This is achieved by pressing the test button on the top of the alarm to ensure the audible alarm sounds. If the alarm has replaceable batteries, they must be changed out every 6 months to ensure they are operational.

One way to help remember this is to change the batteries whenever there is a time change. The trend with newer alarms is to have 10-year batteries that are permanently installed. No matter which type of alarm you have, it is recommended that each alarm in the home is replaced every 10 years.

Lastly, there are specialty alarms available for the hearing impaired. This style of alarm is designed to utilize strobe lights and bed shakers to notify occupants of potential danger.  

If anyone from the community has further questions or requires assistance with the maintenance of their smoke alarms, please feel free to contact the fire station. 

Provided by the Matlacha/Pine Island Fire Control District.