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Smoke Alarms
A Sound You Can Live With! Smoke Alarm

WHAT ARE SMOKE ALARMS?
 
A Smoke Alarm monitors the air and sounds an alarm when it detects smoke or other products of combustion, thereby providing you with early warning of fire in time to escape.

WHY ARE SMOKE ALARMS IMPORTANT?
 
Approximately one hundred (100) fire deaths occur in Oklahoma each year. Most of the fire fatalities in residential properties occur during the sleeping hours between 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. Most of these deaths occur before flames reach the victims. The victims seldom are aware of the danger from fire, but sleep soundly in their beds while smoke and poisonous gasses fill their homes.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
 
Install a Smoke Alarm today! AC (electric powered) Smoke Alarms with DC (battery) back-up, offer the best available fire detection features for today's homes. There is no doubt Smoke Alarms do save lives. If you have a properly operating Smoke Alarm, you double your chances of surviving a fire.
Do you have a Smoke Alarm in your home?

ARE SMOKE ALARMS EXPENSIVE?
 
No! There are tested and approved Smoke Alarms available for less than $10.00. If you are a Sand Springs Resident and own your home, the SSFD will install on for free! Call 918-246-2548

CHOOSING A HOME SMOKE ALARM
 
When purchasing a Smoke Alarm for your home, you should check for the following:
The Smoke Alarm must display the marking of a recognized independent testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratory (UL) etc. and be listed and approved for sale, installation and use in Oklahoma by the Office of the State Fire Marshal.

The Smoke Alarm should produce an 85 decibel or louder signal.

Easily replaceable battery. For models having batteries for primary or secondary power, make certain that the replacement battery for your Smoke Alarm is easy to obtain and install

Battery powered Smoke Alarms are extremely easy to install, but have to be maintained on a regular basis to ensure that the battery is in proper working order

Electric powered Smoke Alarms may require installation by a licensed electrician to maintain primary power supply to the alarm

WHERE SHOULD SMOKE ALARMS BE INSTALLED?
 
Where to install Smoke Alarms is one fo the most important considerations in fire protection of the home. Quite often, Smoke Alarms are improperly located and do not function as needed.

Where you install an alarm depends upon the size and layout of your home and where the members of your family sleep.

The primary function of a Smoke Alarm is to awaken sleeping person and warn them of the development of a fire. The most critical requirement is to put the Alarm as close as possible to the bedrooms in which your family sleeps. If two (2) sleeping areas are separated by any significant distance, each sleeping area should have its own alarm.

Next, consider the probable path along which smoke would travel in the home. In a single level home, such as a rancher, this usually means placing a Smoke Alarm in the hallway from which the bedroom doors open. In a home where the bedrooms are on the second floor, a Smoke Alarm should be located near the top of the stairs adjacent to the bedroom area.

The simplest rule for locating the first Smoke Alarm in the home should be between the bedrooms and the rest of the home.

Avoid installing Alarms in areas where nominal amounts of smoke may normally be present, such as kitchens or other cooking spaces, furnace rooms or near fire places or wood burning stoves. Normal exhaust from these devices may cause frequent and unnecessary alarms, which may lead to the disabling or removal of an alarm from active service.

If you are installing multiple Smoke Alarms in your home and you have placed one near each sleeping area, it is a good idea to make certain there is one on each leave of the home. Near the basement ceiling and near the steps to the remainder of the house are good locations.

WHAT IS THE CORRECT POSITION FOR THE ALARM TO BE LOCATED?
 
Prior to mounting your Smoke Alarm, please read the instructions that come with your detection carefully. Most Smoke Alarm manufacturers will recommend installing Smoke Alarms on the ceiling or on the wall between six (6) and twelve (12) inches below the ceiling. This not only takes advantage of the fact that smoke rises, but places the Alarm safely in an area above accidental bumps and the inquiring hands of young children.

The peculiarities of air flow and ceiling temperature should be considered before installing Alarms in certain properties. Excessive "clean" airflow across a Alarm can keep smoke-filled air from reaching the smoke chamber. This may happen if the Alarm is mounted in front of an air duct outlet or between the bedroom and the furnace cold are may still be "washing" the Alarm even when most of the air in the house is unbeatable.

For the installation of Smoke Alarms in a mobile home, Alarms may be located on or near the ceiling as recommended by the manufacturer except where the ceiling has little or not insulation. In a mobile home, ceiling may be excessively cold in the winter or extremely hot in the summer. For the same reason, exterior walls also may not be the proper place to install a Smoke Alarm in a mobile home. In such situations, install the Smoke Alarm on an inside wall, approximately six (6) inches away from the ceiling.

MAINTENANCE IS IMPORTANT!

Your Smoke Alarm must be maintained properly to provide you and your family with protection. How should you maintain your Smoke Alarm? By following these simple steps you can help ensure the proper operation of your Alarm at all times.
• Replace the batteries according to the manufacturer's instructions. Usually, the battery will last approximately six (6) months to one (1) year before needing replacement. REMEMBER: Battery-operated Smoke Alarms do require somewhat more maintenance since batteries must be replaced at least once a year
• Vacuum the grillwork of the Alarm to remove dust, dirt, bugs and other debris, which may prevent the Alarm from working properly.
• Test your Alarm periodically according to the manufacturer's instructions.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I HEAR THE SMOKE ALARM SOUND?
 
There is more to surviving a home fire than just waking up before it is too late. People who wake up to the sound of a Smoke Alarm, including your children and the elderly, are often confused and may panic during the excitement that follows. The safety of you, your family and your other loved ones may depend on knowing instinctively what to do.

NEVER IGNORE THE SOUND OF A SMOKE ALARM!

If a Smoke Alarm is sounding, there is a reason. You and your family must be able to escape quickly and safely. Here are several steps your family should take:
• Prepare an escape plan ahead of time. Discuss and rehearse the escape plan with all members of the family. Know two (2) means of escape from any room in the home.
• Always check the door to see if it is hot before opening it to escape. If the doorknob or door itself is not, do not use that exit! Use an alternate means to escape.
• Crawl on the floor. Smoke from a fire rises and so does the temperature. There will be less smoke and heat from the fire at floor level. Crawling may help you to survive a fire in your home.
• Decide on a prearranged location outside of the home to meet other members of the household. If you clearly know where everyone is supposed to meet, it will be easier to know who is safe.
• Call 9-1-1 from a neighbor's home or the nearest phone outside of your home or apartment. Never notify 9-1-1 from within your home during a fire emergency. Be prepared to give your full name and address to the emergency operator when you call. Please remember to stay on the line until the operator has all the information that is needed.

ARE THERE OTHER WAYS I CAN PROTECT MY FAMILY FROM FIRE?
 
The following is a safety check list which may help to reduce the chance of a fire starting in your home:
• Smoking in bed is the leading cause of residential fire deaths. Avoid smoking in bed!
• Keep the furnace, regardless of type, in proper working order.
• Use portable heaters as instructed by the manufacturer. Never use portable heaters or kitchen stove as a primary means of heating your home.
• Use extreme caution when using electric extension cords. Do not use worn out or frayed extension cords or run extension cords or other electrical service cords under rungs or furniture.
• Keep an eye on your cooking. Avoid leaving food cooking on a stove unattended. Cooking related fires are a leading cause of residential fire incidents throughout the State of Oklahoma and the City of Sand Springs.


Your family's safety is our first concern. But firefighters and fire prevention specialists alone cannot ensure the safety of you and your family

You will be taking important steps improving total fire protection for you and your family by properly equipping your home and Smoke Alarms and developing a fire escape plan and practicing that plan.

If you have other questions regarding fire safety, please contact the Sand Springs Fire Marshal at 918-246-2548.