Learn the ins and outs of keeping an up to date smoke detector that will protect you and your family.
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Female Speaker: We've got a new mantra right here on Better, we call it "Better to Be Safe". It's part of a special series to keep you and your family safe and put your mind at ease. Today, Tony Martinez tells us all about those smoke alarms. Tony Martinez: Well, Alan, welcome to my home! I do have smoke alarms here in the house, seven of them, I counted. But, beyond that, I don't give them much thought; I just assume they're working well. Alan: Right! Installing and maintaining smoke detectors in your home is the easiest and the best way to prevent fire emergencies. It only takes a minute. Tony Martinez: Are there risks associated with the detectors themselves and what should I know about these? Alan: The biggest risk is not having a smoke alarm or having one that doesn't work. They make a huge difference in alerting people that there is a fire in their home. We recommend that you have one on every floor of your home, in the hallway near the bedrooms, one in the kitchen and one near the furnace. Tony Martinez: So, are there different types of alarms? Alan: Yes, there are several different types. You have Battery-Operated smoke alarms that are interconnected with wires through your house. The most important thing is having a smoke alarm over not having one. Tony Martinez: Like any alarm is better than no alarm at all. Alan: Exactly! What you have here is an interconnected system that's good. But, you still have to have that battery backup. Tony Martinez: But how often are you checking those batteries, you have to change them still periodically, right? Alan: The 10-year batteries, you don't have to change, but every ten years. The other 9-volt batteries, you need to test the smoke alarm once a month and change that battery every year. Once, you take the battery operated off the wall, there is usually a little door on the back and the battery just comes out. Tony Martinez: We do this changing the battery once a year? Alan: You change the battery every year, but you want to test the smoke alarm every month. Tony Martinez: So, it's actually pretty simple. You test once a month, change the battery once a year. What else do I need to know? Alan: You want to replace the whole unit every ten years, whether they are electric or battery-operated. A good way to remember that is just to write the date right on the back. Tony Martinez: Otherwise, you probably would never remember, ten years, long time. Now, what about my kids and smoke alarms, what do I need to know there? Alan: What you need to do is teach your children what a smoke alarm does, what it sounds like and what to do in the event that it goes off. Most kids in the event of an actual smoke alarm activation, will tend to hide or be frightened, rather than try to escape or to get help. Tony Martinez: You can see from a kid's perspective why hiding would make sense, but from a parent, that's horrifying to hear that. So, how do you prevent that from happening? Alan: Oh! Tony, get them involved in the whole fire safety plan. Give them an active role; you can rotate the safety officer between the kids. That gives them a responsibility in keeping the family safe. It gets them more involved in it. Also, when the actual emergency happens, they won't be afraid. Tony Martinez: They'll know what to do. Alan: They'll know exactly what to do. Tony Martinez: Alan, great information! I really appreciate that. Now, let me see if I have this right. Here are the three things that stood out for me. Number one, install smoke alarms on every floor of the home. Number two, test them monthly and change the batteries at least once a year. Three, teach your children what to do if they hear the smoke alarm. Getting your kids involved in the fire safety is a great way to teach them about the dangers of fire. You'll sleep easier knowing you have working smoke alarms throughout your house. Female Speaker: Alright! Keep watching Better for more great ways to keep your family safe. A special thanks to the Ore