HOLT, Fla., Oct. 11, 2017–The Holt Fire District is checking smoke detectors when making emergency responses to ensure residents have working smoke alarms in their homes.
If there is not a smoke alarm present, the fire district will provide them to the home owner free of charge, said Fire Chief Scott Chestnut.
The Fire District has been running the smoke alarm replacement program for about a year, according to Chestnut.
“When we conduct an EMS call, we’ll scan the house for a detector,” he said.
If the home doesn’t have one, the responder will offer to either install one for the resident or leave it behind to be installed later, he said.
Smoke alarms save lives, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Properly installed and maintained smoke alarms play a vital role in reducing fire deaths and injuries.
“The risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with a working smoke alarm,” according to the U.S. Fires Administration’s website. One-third of house fire deaths result from fires where no smoke alarm was present.
It only takes 30 seconds for small flame to get completely out of control and turn into a major fire, according to the USFA.
Smoke alarms provide an early warning of a fire, giving people added escape time.
But smoke alarms require electricity to work, whether wired into the house electrical system or dependent on a battery.
According to a 2015 study by the NFPA, in fires where smoke alarms were present but did not operate, almost half of the alarms had missing or disconnected batteries.
Dead batteries cause 24 percent of smoke alarm failures, the report stated.
Smoke alarm maintenance tips
- Test all alarms each month
- Replace alarms that are 10 years or older, based on the manufacturer’s date
- Replace batteries once a year