Protect Your Family: Home Assessments to Check Smoke Alarms

12/31/2016

It's important to have enough smoke alarms in your home.

Fire research has demonstrated that with today's modern furnishings, fires can spread much more rapidly than in the past when more natural materials were used. Because of this, having a sufficient number of properly located smoke alarms is essential to maximize the amount of available escape time. For many years has required as a minimum that smoke alarms be installed inside every sleep room (even for existing homes) in addition to requiring them outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. (Additional smoke alarms are required for larger homes.) Homes built to earlier standards often don't meet these minimum requirements. Homeowners should recognize that detection needs have changed over the years and take proactive steps make sure that every home has a sufficient complement of smoke alarms.

Tips on installing smoke alarms

  • Choose smoke alarms that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
  • Install smoke alarms inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.
  • On levels without bedrooms, install alarms in the living room (or den or family room) or near the stairway to the upper level, or in both locations.
  • Smoke alarms installed in the basement should be installed on the ceiling at the bottom of the stairs leading to the next level.
  • Smoke alarms should be installed at least 10 feet (3 meters) from a cooking appliance to minimize false alarms when cooking.

Home Safety Assessment - Free Alarm Installation
In an effort to keep our residents safe from fire and promote community safety, North Shore Fire/Rescue will conduct a free courtesy home safety evaluation and install
smoke alarms free of charge. This service is offered to residents of Bayside, Brown Deer, Fox Point, Glendale, River Hills, Shorewood, and Whitefish Bay. Please visit
www.nsfire.org for more information.

Employees