In 2002, nearly 3,400 people died in residential fires, according to a study released by the U.S. Fire Administration. In two-thirds of the fires, smoke alarms were missing or not working.
By Sarah Clark
December 31, 1969
Smoke alarms are the "single most important means of preventing house and apartment fire fatalities by providing an early warning signal," says the U.S. Fire Administration. Smoke alarms provide an easy way to make your family more secure--smoke alarms can be installed with limited effort and purchased for as little as $10.
One precaution to take when using a smoke alarm is to make sure you change the alarm's battery regularly. If the battery is dead, the smoke alarm may not work properly. Change the battery at the same time each year, such as on a holiday or when you do your annual spring cleaning.
The Advantages of Fire Alarms
Smoke alarms do have a couple of drawbacks, however. Smoke alarms need to be placed throughout the house to be effective. If a fire breaks out on a second floor, a smoke alarm on the first floor may not detect it.
Also, a smoke alarm may not provide the warning or assistance needed by people with disabilities or special needs. A hearing impaired family member may not hear the sound of a smoke alarm and an elderly relative may not have the physical capability to escape from a fire on his or her own.
For these reasons, some people feel more secure with a fire alarm than they would relying solely on a smoke alarm. Fire alarms are often part of a home security system
that includes a burglar alarm and monitoring system.
Guard Against Fires and Burglars
Home security systems may be more expensive to install and maintain than a single smoke alarm, but they provide significantly more safety features. They guard your home against burglars through motion detection technology that sounds an alarm when windows
Most fire and burglary alarm systems also come with 24 hour monitoring, which means that a security company is notified when the alarm sounds. In the case of an emergency, the monitoring company will call the appropriate first responders, the police or local fire department.
With a home security system, you can be sure your family is safe from the dangers of fires and intruders.
About the Author
Sarah Clark is a freelance writer based in Arlington, Virginia.
*Before you apply any of the advice described on the Hip-home.com website, you should consider if the advice is safe and suitable for your individual home situation and consult experts as necessary to evaluate the suitability for your circumstances.