Smoke alarms save lives, but only if they are properly installed and functioning. Most fatalities happen in homes without working smoke alarms.
The Burbank Fire Department recommends that you install at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home, including the basement. Even better is one in every bedroom. Smoke alarms are designed to wake you up if a fire starts while you are sleeping. Be sure your smoke alarms are near bedrooms and other sleeping areas in your home. For more information, watch the video Smart Choices for Smoke Alarm Placement.
When was the last time you heard your smoke alarm? Battery-operated detectors should be tested once a month to be certain they are working.
Replace the batteries in your smoke alarm twice a year. The Burbank Fire Department recommends you do this when we change our clocks for Daylight Saving Time. Install a new battery immediately if an alarm “chirps” to indicate a low battery.
NOTE: Smoke detectors manufactured after January 1, 2014 contain a nonreplaceable, nonremovable battery that is capable of powering the unit for at least ten years. These devices should still be tested monthly and replaced every ten years.
Use the hush button to silence a false alarm. Never disconnect or remove the battery. If your smoke alarm does not have a hush button use a magazine or kitchen towel to wave fresh air into the detection unit.
Replace your smoke alarm every ten years. After ten years, your smoke alarm will have been working consecutively for 87,000 hours. No other appliance in your home works this long. If you do not know how old your smoke alarm is, or if it is ten years or older, replace it as soon as possible.
Useful Publications and Links
Residential Smoke Alarms Brochure
New Requirement for Smoke Alarm Listings
US Fire Administration
National Fire Protection Association