Smoke Detectors and The Smoke Detector Program
Most fire deaths occur in homes without properly placed or maintained smoke detectors. If you have a fire, the smoke will act like an anesthetic and will put you in a deeper sleep. Therefore, you must protect yourself and your family by installing and maintaining smoke detectors in your home. A properly placed and working smoke detector will wake you in time to escape.
- One smoke detector outside each sleeping area
- One smoke detector on each level of your home
- An additional smoke detector in each bedroom
Proper placement of the smoke detector is important. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions. The basic guidelines are as follows:
- Mount on the ceiling or wall. If on the ceiling, make sure it is at least 4" from the wall and if on the wall, it should be mounted between 4"-12" down from the ceiling (the corner between wall and ceiling is a dead air space).
- Keep smoke detectors away from air vents and ceiling fans.
- If detector is located near a kitchen or shower area, the detector may activate. If so, relocate the detector closer to a bedroom area.
- Battery operated smoke detectors should be checked weekly by pushing the test button. Hard-wired detectors should be checked at least monthly.
- Clean the detector periodically by removing the cover and dusting or vacuuming the detector.
- Change the battery when you change your clock in the spring and fall.
- A periodic "beep" or "chirp" means the battery is low. Replace the battery immediately and don't remove or disconnect the battery before you have one to replace it.
The Smoke Detector Program
The Tallahassee Fire Department Smoke Detector Program began in the early 1980's with a community block grant. This program was designed to provide senior citizens and low-income citizens with a smoke detector for their home. Senior citizens have an increased risk of dying in fires. More than 1,200 Americans over the age of 65 die as a result of fire and 3,000 are injured due to residential fires each year. Over the years, the department has installed many smoke detectors throughout Tallahassee and Leon County.
Smoke detectors can provide the early warning necessary to escape a deadly fire. To be effective, smoke detectors must be installed in the right location and they must be maintained. Battery replacement should be done whenever you change your clock in the fall and in the spring. A "chirping" or "beeping" sound indicates the battery is weak and needs to be replaced. Do not remove the battery until you have one to replace it with.
In addition to commercial business and HRS compliance inspections, we perform home fire safety surveys upon request of owner. Call the Prevention Division at 606-6600.