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Smoke Detectors and Fire Escape Plans Are Key to Preventing Fire-Related Injuries

Hands holding people cutouts.Eighty-five percent of all fire-related deaths are due to home fires. Most fire-related deaths among children ages 9 and under occur when the child is attempting to escape, is unable to act, or is acting irrationally. Children who learn fire safety rules and practice what to do in case of a fire (get low and get out) have a better chance of staying safe. Create and practice a home fire escape plan with two ways out of your house in case of a fire and include a family meeting place outside in front of your home.

Working smoke alarms reduce the chances of dying in a fire by nearly 50 percent. To make sure your smoke alarms will work when you need them most:

  • Install smoke alarms inside every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement
  • For the best protection choose a smoke detector that includes a photoelectric sensor, which responds faster than other types of smoke detectors to smoldering fires
  • Replace batteries in smoke detectors twice a year
  • Check batteries in smoke detectors once a month
  • Replace smoke detectors when they are 10 years old

Fire escape ladders can be helpful for escaping the upper levels of a home in case of fire, but they take some practice to use safely. An emergency should never be the first time you take a fire escape ladder out of its box. As part of a family fire drill, have everyone in your family practice putting the ladder out of a first floor window and climbing out.

What Kind of Smoke Alarm is Best?

The two most common smoke detector types are ionization and photoelectric. Ionization alarms are generally more responsive to flaming fires, while photoelectric alarms are generally more responsive to smoldering fires. Because you cannot predict the type of fire you might have in your home, or when it will occur, it is a good idea to use a dual sensor alarm, which incorporates both technologies.

Need a smoke alarm or fire escape ladder? The Rainbow Safety Store carries dual sensor smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and both two- and three-story fire escape ladders.