The Importance of Smoke Detectors

According to the State Fire Marshall’s most recent annual “Fire In Minnesota” report, residential fires accounted for 76% of all MN fires. Here’s a breakdown of where in the home the fires actually occurred:

  • 51% in the kitchen area
  • 4% in sleeping area
  • 3% in the garage
  • 3% in the laundry area
  • 39% other

Fire Prevention is the key to protecting people and property. Correctly placed and working smoke detectors are critical in safeguarding your family and your home.   Here are some guidelines for placement of your home’s smoke detectors according to

  • Each bedroom should have a detector
  • Each hallway, especially hallways outside sleeping areas
  • One on every floor
  • Living Room area
  • Kitchen – the detector should be placed at least 10 feet from a stove

Quick tips to keep your fire alarms in good working order:

  • Test each alarm once per month
  • Replace the batteries at least once per year. I personally change mine twice a year, each time we change our clocks – once in the Fall and again in the Spring.
  • Replace all smoke detectors every 10 years.

The National Fire Protection Association released the following facts:

  • Cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries, followed heating equipment.
  • Almost three of five (60%) of reported home fire deaths in 2007 to 2011 resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
  • Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in reported home fires in half.
  • In fires considered large enough to activate the smoke alarm, hardwired alarms operated 93% of the time, while battery powered alarms operated only 79% of the time.
  • When smoke alarms fail to operate, it is usually because batteries are missing, disconnected, or dead (see tips above for keeping your smoke alarms in good working order.)

There are many different brands and types of affordable smoke detectors on the market. Shop around, ask questions to find the best fit for you, your family and your property. Installing smoke detectors is one of the easiest things and most important things you can do to keep your family and your home safe.

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