Change Your Clock, Check you Smoke AlarmWednesday, October 28, 2009
We all know the saying "spring forward, fall back" when referring to setting our clocks for daylight saving time.
With this in mind, it is a great opportunity for the fire personnel to add a safety reminder of "change your clock, check your smoke alarm" before the Nov. 1 time change.
Hopefully, right now you are saying to yourself, "Yep, I check my smoke alarm every month."
For those of you who didn't, please read and heed this safety advice.
Checking if you have a working smoke alarm in your home may be the single most effective method you have to get you and your loved ones out of danger in the case of a fire in your home.
In Oregon, we have good legislation regarding smoke alarms. We used to call them smoke detectors in the old days, but more accurately they are alarms that sound in the presence of smoke. Hence, the term smoke alarm.
Smoke detectors are a more specific term for alarm systems in commercial buildings that detect the presence of smoke, then activate an alarm system, which sends out an alarm signal and sounds an alarm. It's all about safety.
In homes, we require a smoke alarm on every level of the home. Two-story means a minimum of two smoke alarms protecting the hallways and stairways so that families can escape the toxic gases that make up the smoke you see in a house fire.
In the past decade, current state building code has required all new construction to add a smoke alarm in every sleeping area.
Parents, if you are reading this, make sure there in a working smoke alarm in every bedroom. Practice with your kids what to do in the middle of the night when the smoke alarm sounds.
Remember E.D.I.T.H. — Exit Drills In The Home.
Try it. Not all children will wake to smoke alarms. Practice can really make a difference. Everyone has had the nuisance smoke alarm activation from burnt cookies or burnt toast. Some of today's smoke alarms, the ionization type, have a "hush" feature that allows for a temporary cancellation of the alarm when this happens.
Another modern feature is the 10-year lithium battery. Photo-electric smoke alarms have a 9-volt battery and you still need to change the battery at least once a year.
So the slogan, change your clock, change you battery, is not as accurate with these alarms.
But you should give your alarm a test. Push that center "test" button and hold until the alarm sounds.
That's it. Safe for another season. Check out the features of the new smoke alarms at your local home hardware store.