One of the most important household safety techniques you can implement is the purchase and proper installation of an adequate number of smoke alarms in your home. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) offers the following facts regarding smoke alarms and fires.
* One-half of home fire deaths occur in the 6 percent of homes without smoke alarms.
* Homes with smoke alarms typically have a death rate that is 40 to 50 percent less than the rate in homes without alarms.
* In three of every ten reported fires in homes equipped with smoke alarms, the devices were not operational.
The NFPA offers safety tips regarding smoke alarms for you to consider.
* New batteries should be installed in all smoke alarms annually or when the alarm chirps to warn that the battery is weak.
* Smoke alarms should be tested monthly.
* Smoke alarms should be placed outside each sleeping area and on each floor of the home, including the basement.
* Smoke alarms should be interconnected, so if one goes off, they all go off.
* Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years.