Originally Posted By: jbowman
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.


Interesting Web Sites:

www.usfa.fema.gov - Home Safety tips.
www.usfa.fema.gov/kids/sa.htm - Great for kids and grown-ups alike
www.nachifoundation.org - Safe House program

I can never stress enough the importance of Smoke Alarms. I could quote national statistics and studies, but instead choose to take the "common sense" approach. Everyone understands and recognizes the need and importance of smoke alarms, I'm going to hit on the practicality of them.

When first introduced during the early 70's, professionally installed alarms for a typical three bedroom home costs nearly $1,000.00. In today's market that same home could cost less than $100.00. A cheap investment for our first line of defense against fires.

Smoke alarms, like anything else, vary in costs, types, and installation procedures. Careful attention to the installation instructions must be taken. Smoke alarms should be installed on the ceiling 6 to 8 inches out from the corner or 6 to 8 inches below the ceiling on side walls. One should be located at each bedroom and on each floor of the residence. Major areas such as the kitchen and furnace/utility rooms should have them. The majority of codes require them in this area. If they don't they should. Smoke alarms have a life expectancy of 8 to 10 years and are found in most hardware, and home supply stores. I strongly recommend using UL-Listed alarms only. Types and descriptions of various alarms follow:

- You have your basic smoke alarm that costs anywhere from $10.00 to $20.00 each. These alarms are normally installed using a basic screw driver or even better yet have a sticky pad available on the bottom side. They use a 9 v. battery and sound a short audible "chirp or beep" when the battery is low and needs replacing.

- Whole unit replacement alarms - Exactly the same as your basic smoke alarm except they are designed to be replaced as a whole unit, thus avoiding the need for battery replacement. Some come with a ten-year battery. Prices vary from $15.00 on up. (Tough to locate at this time because they are fairly new to the market.)

- "Hard wired" alarms. These alarms are connected to a 110 electrical circuit and may or may not have battery back-up. I recommend battery back-up. Prices vary from $25.00 on up for each alarm. They may be installed individually or in series. In series means when one alarm "sounds off" they all do.

- Hearing Impaired alarms. Specifically designed for the hearing impaired these alarms cost over $100.00 each. These alarms are required to operate on a 110 electrical circuit. Some are "hard wired" and others simply plug into an existing receptacle. These alarms produce a brilliant illuminating strobe light which when activated will interrupt the deepest sleep. Most have an extremely loud alarm and strobe light and also have battery back-up.

(If you know of any family in need of any one of these alarms but are financially strapped, please, either have them contact the NACHI Foundation or contact them yourself at www.nachifoundation.org to see how they may help or assist in the purchase of these alarms. Also check with your local Fire Departments or municipalities. Some offer smoke alarms for little or no cost, or will even install them for you. When calling use THE NON-EMERGENCY TELEPHONE NUMBER.)

Maintenance of smoke alarms is basic. Here are some tips:

- Clean regularly. Dust and debris will interfere with normal operation.
- Replace batteries at least once a year.
- Schedule regular maintenance and tests.
- Never remove batteries to disable an alarm that sounds every time you cook. The alarm is working fine, it's your cooking habits that may need investigating.

I hope you enjoyed this little tip. As always if you feel uncomfortable performing any of these tasks, please consult a professional. Drop me a line and let me know what you think of this and other Tip Sheets at john@nachifoundation.org. This tip sheet is distributed freely to NACHI members and guests. Feel free to copy and disseminate this information in any way you feel comfortable with. You can either credit Bowman Contracting for the information or adjust the content to facilitate your own business or organization.

Best regards,


Originally Posted By: tallen
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.

Standard Time Starts on October 31 (last Sunday in October)

CPSC Recommends Fresh Batteries for Smoke Alarms and Fire Safety Tips

for Every Home

WASHINGTON, D.C. - "When you change your clock for Standard Time on
October 31, remember to test your smoke alarms and replace the
batteries," urged Hal Stratton, Chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product
Safety Commission. "Keep cigarettes, matches, lighters, and candles away
from children who might unintentionally start a fire."

"A working smoke alarm should be placed on every level of the home and
in every bedroom," Chairman Stratton said. Commission staff is promoting
fire safety and encouraging consumers to maintain working smoke alarms
in their homes. In addition, CPSC has posted fire safety tips at
www.cpsc.gov and is distributing fire safety information to urban and
rural communities at risk.

An estimated 2,850 people die and 15,900 people are injured annually
because of fires in residences. These fires result in property losses of
about $3.8 billion annually. "Reducing this fire toll is a priority for
CPSC," said Chairman Stratton. "Consumers should keep ignition sources
away from children, install and maintain smoke alarms, and develop and
practice a fire escape plan."

Although more than 90 percent of homes have smoke alarms, millions of
homes have alarms that do not work. CPSC recommends that consumers test
each smoke alarm every month to make sure it is working properly.
Missing or dead batteries are the main causes for non-working smoke
alarms. Replace the battery in the smoke alarm as soon as it begins to
chirp, indicating a low battery. Consider using smoke alarms that come
with 10-year batteries. These alarms with long-life batteries should
also be tested monthly.

In addition, CPSC recommends that every home have a carbon monoxide (CO)
alarm near every sleeping area. Consumers need to regularly test and
replace batteries in CO alarms too.

CPSC has worked to strengthen smoke alarm performance and installation
requirements and is studying ways to make the alarms more effective in
waking children and alerting older people.

Between 1980 and 1999, residential fire-related deaths declined
substantially. In 1980, approximately 4,560 people died; in recent
years, that number dropped to 2,850 annually. This decline in deaths can
be attributed, in part, to CPSC and industry activities. This work
included safety standards for cigarette-resistant mattresses and
upholstered furniture, heating and cooking equipment, electrical
products, general wearing apparel, children's sleepwear, child-resistant
lighters, fireworks, smoke alarms, and residential sprinklers. CPSC has
designated fire safety as one of its top priorities for the next 5
years, with the goal of reducing fire deaths further.

CPSC recommends that consumers follow these tips to help prevent fires,
deaths, and injuries:

Install and maintain smoke alarms.
Maintain and properly use gas and electrical appliances.
Never leave food cooking unattended; turn off the burner if you have to
Keep matches and lighters away from children.
Develop and practice a fire escape plan.