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The Importance of Smoke Alarms

According to the National Fire Protection Association, 3 out of every 5 home fire deaths occurred in homes because of the lack of functional smoke alarms. In fact, the death rate for homes without working smoke detectors is twice as high as homes with working alarms. These statistics indicate one clear fact—smoke alarms save lives.

Whether at home, work, an industrial building, or at school, every building at risk for a fire should have working smoke alarms. There are two different types of smoke alarms, ionization and photoelectric alarms. Each alarm protects against a different type of fire. An ionization fire alarm detects flaming fires. While a photoelectric can detect smoldering, smoky fires more quickly. The National Fire Protection Agency recommends that homeowners arm their homes with both types of alarms to better prepare for both types of fires.

In homes, alarms should be installed in every room where people sleep and on every level of the home. Alarms should also be interconnected so to alarm the entire home.

You must continually check to ensure the smoke alarms are fully functional and have working batteries. Smoke alarms should be tested at least once a month, which can be done by pressing the “test” button. Be sure to check the battery life of your alarm and replace your smoke alarms at least once every 10 years.

If you install and maintain your smoke alarm correctly but it fails to go off in an emergency situation, you likely have a defective or faulty alarm. Defective alarms will fail to alert you to a fire or may take much longer to sound. Such delays and faults could have dire consequences, leading to the loss of your home, possessions, or even the life of a loved one. A home fire is very serious and can result in severe injuries like burns, lung or throat damage from smoke, or broken bones and concussions from falling debris. When you or someone you love is harmed because of a faulty smoke detector, you may be able to take legal action against the manufacturer or landlord.

Contact Rouda Feder Tietjen & McGuinn for a free consultation regarding your faulty fire alarm.