According to the United States Fire Administration, in 2008, there were an estimated 378,200 in-home fires. Combined, these fires caused $8 billion in property damage and killed 2,600 people.
Unfortunately, many of affected homes did have smoke detectors installed, but the devices were faulty either because of dead batteries, or because the smoke detector had reached the end of its useful life.
This is why it’s so important to test your home’s smoke detectors at least once annually.
Here’s how to test a smoke detector:
- Ask a family member or friend to walk to the farthest point of the home from the detector.
- Push and hold the testing button to activate the alarm. Usually, this takes 5 seconds.
- Confirm with the family member or friend that the alarm was audible from his/her location.
And there’s an additional step worth taking.
Just because the smoke detector’s alarm works doesn’t mean that the actual smoke detector works. For less than $15, therefore, you may want to buy a “smoke test” from Amazon to confirm whether your detector is faulty. The smoke test simulates a real fire so, if the detector fails to sound when it’s tested, it’s time to replace the entire smoke detector unit.
2,000 residential fires occur on Thanksgiving Day each year — most of them related to cooking. Before Thursday, make sure your smoke detectors are working. You don’t want your home to be Fire #2001.