State Fire Marshal
"Change your clocks, change your batteries" is the simple slogan issued by the state fire marshal's office as a reminder to Kansans to remember the importance of a working smoke detector.
"Your risk of dying in a fire is greatly reduced when your home is equipped with working smoke alarms," Jorgensen said. "Having smoke alarms with dead batteries is no different than having no smoke alarms at all. Those with smoke alarms with alkaline batteries need to change out those batteries at least once a year."
Jorgensen recommended checking the manufacture dates of smoke alarms because those more than 10 years old should be replaced due to diminishing sensor quality. Simply remove the smoke alarm from a wall or ceiling and look for the printed manufacture date on the back.
Jorgensen advises the use of sealed, 10-year lithium batteries or better, and hardwiring smoke alarms for interconnectivity so that if one sounds, they all sound.
Those without working smoke alarms can contact local fire departments and request installation of free new units.
Robertson said smoke alarms aren't always in stock, and donation amounts vary, but he added that it's important to make sure that residents of
"They need to make sure they have a smoke detector in each bedroom and one on every level of the home," he said. "So if the home has a basement and two stories, they need a smoke detector in the main hallways on each one of those floors, and then a smoke detector in each bedroom is required by code."
Robertson recommended changing batteries on smoke alarms twice a year, at the beginning and end of daylight saving time. He also advised checking smoke detectors every month to ensure that they work.
He said using an air duster or a small vacuum cleaner hose can remove dust on the sensor that may otherwise give it a false reading or "create a situation where the smoke detector may not work at all."
Reports submitted to the
The report noted that 18 percent of reported home fires in
Smoke alarms with non-replaceable batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years, and if an alarm chirps to warn that the battery is low, the smoke alarm should be replaced immediately, according to the statement from the state fire marshal's office.
For smoke alarms that use any other type of battery, the batteries should be replaced at least once a year.
Residents also are advised to date each unit upon installation and replace it after 10 years, or sooner, if the unit doesn't successfully pass the sounding test initiated by the test button.
The State Fire Marshal's office also recommended that families practice an escape plan by establishing two escape routes from every room in the house, designating a meeting place, and preparing to call 9-1-1 once safely outside of the house.
Once residents are safely outside the home, they are advised not to return for any reason, even to save a pet.
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