Residential fire deaths have decreased steadily as the number of homes with smoke alarms has increased. Reports from the National Fire Protection Association on residential fire deaths show that people have nearly a 50 percent better chance of surviving a fire if their home has the recommended number of smoke alarms.
Smoke alarms that are 10 years old are near the end of their service life and should be replaced. A smoke alarm monitors the air 24 hours a day. At the end of 10 years, it has gone through over 3.5 million monitoring cycles. After this much use, components may become less reliable. This means that as the alarm gets older, the potential of failing to detect a fire increases. Replacing them after 10 years reduces this possibility.
Yes. Both types of alarms are equally affected by age.
The average-sized home or apartment needs more than one smoke alarms. The exact number depends on the number of levels in the home and the number of bedrooms. Local building codes require a minimum of one alarm on each level of the home, one alarm outside the bedroom area, and one in each bedroom. The alarm that is placed outside of the bedroom area should be installed in a place where it can be heard at night through a closed bedroom door.
There are two type of smoke alarms for homes. One type is called an ionization alarm because it monitors "ions," or electrically charged particles. Smoke particles entering the sensing chamber change the electrical balance of the air. The alarm's horn will sound when the change in electrical balance reaches a preset level. The other type of alarm is called photoelectric because its sensing chamber uses a beam of light and a light sensor. Smoke particles entering the chamber change the amount of light that reaches the light sensor. The alarm sounds when the smoke density reaches a preset level.
The ionization alarm responds faster to small smoke particles, while the photoelectric responds faster to large smoke particles. As a rule of thumb, fast-flaming fires produce more small smoke particles and smoldering fires produce more large particles. Thus, the response time of the two type of alarms will vary, depending on the mix of small and large smoke particles in the fire. But test results show that the differences in response time are small enough that both types provide enough time to escape.
The number of alarms is more important than the type. Installing several smoke alarms of each type will provide better coverage in the extreme cases of long-term smoldering or fast-flaming fires. But since both types respond in time for you to escape, the most important thing is to install enough alarms in the proper locations. Alarms are available with both types of sensors in the same unit, but they are more expensive than models with a single sensor. If the choice is between having only one of each type or having more of the same type, more alarms is the better choice.
Smoke alarms are designed to be very sensitive so they will alert occupants to a fire in time for them to escape. If a alarm regularly responds to smoke from cooking, there are several options for handling this problem. One way is to replace the alarm with one that has a button that silences it for a few minutes. Another way is to move the alarm farther away, giving the smoke a chance to dissipate. Moving a ceiling-mounted alarm to a wall can also reduce nuisance alarms. However, this will also make it a little slower to respond to a real fire. If the alarm is the ionization type, another option is to replace it with a photoelectric. This alarm is less sensitive to smaller smoke particles and thus is less affected by cooking smoke.
Every smoke alarm comes with a test button. We recommend that people test their alarms regularly, at least once a month.
This is not recommended because the burning objects used to create the smoke might cause a fire. Some stores sell pressurized cans of simulated smoke for this purpose. When using this product, follow the operating instructions and do not get the can too close to the alarm. This prevents the smoke from coating the alarm's sensing chamber, which can make the alarm inoperable.
Cleaning is easy. Just vacuum the alarm at least once a year. This will keep the openings to the sensing chamber free of dust, residue from cooking vapors and insects.
Smoke alarm batteries should last at least one year under normal conditions. The biggest reason that smoke alarms don't work is because people remove the batteries, (e.g., to stop the low battery signal or a nuisance alarm) and forget to replace them. When a battery reaches the end of its service life, the alarm will give a short beep every minute or so. It is easy to remove the battery and then forget to replace it. The best way to prevent this is to replace batteries at the same time each year before the low battery signal begins.
Go to a safe place (preferably prearranged) far enough away from the building in case of collapse or explosion and perform a head count of those who were in the building with you. If someone is missing, it is critically important that you tell arriving firefighters. Tell them who and how many people are missing and where they were last seen.
The discovery of fire not only taught humans the way of cooking but also introduced irony in every human life. Fire is a basic necessity for survival, yet it is also the deadliest and unpredictable foe. Since the early 1800's man has looked for ways to protect home and hearth from fire related disasters and injury. It was at this time that the first fire extinguisher was patented, it was more of an explosive device that needed to be triggered by fuse to scatter the flame retarding liquid. The modern and portable ones we use were patented in 1818 to British Captain George William Manby.
A fire has three elements: heat, oxygen and fuel. The heat starts it all bringing any material to the point of igniting; a fuel source supports the burning, while the oxygen sustains the fire for spreading and doing great’s damage.
Since that time fire extinguishers are active safety devices that are required in the home, work place, restaurants mostly all places susceptible to fire. These are a person's first line of defense in containing fire. There are 5 types (classes) of fire extinguishers which are used for a particular type of fires. These are indicated on the cylinder as picture/labeling in the new generation extinguishers or as geometrical and letter designation in older cylinder versions.
These fires are started when easily ignitable materials have reached their igniting temperature. These materials can be cloth, boxes, paper, plastics and trash.
These fires usually involve liquids that are highly flammable and spread easily. These fires are also started by gas, paint, petrol viscous yet highly flammable too. This fire type may also be started with gases that are easily ignited by heat, such as propane and butane.
This type of fire is started within an appliance, electric equipment, appliance motors and transformers. A type 'C' fire can easily be put out by cutting its power source which abruptly changes its type of fire.
A type 'D' fire source is combustible metals such as calcium, lithium, magnesium and its alloys, phosphorus and titanium among the more known chemical elements. These chemicals when heated and oxidation present causes sparks that may turn into fast spreading flames.
This type of fire concerns burning of cooking fats and grease.
The classification of fire is a guide on what kind of fire extinguisher is used in varying situations. There are several fire retardant components used for several types of fire and pose dangerous to other fire types. In the following pages are lists of the different kinds of extinguishers available in the market today.
In determining such, the usage of a particular type of extinguisher is guaranteed to work. This also prevents the misuse and erroneous use of an extinguisher type which would only feed the fire.
Having to use a fire-extinguisher is simple in and of itself; however, the situation that requires its use can make a simple thing difficult of course. When it come to using a fire-extinguisher just remember the acronym P.A.S.S. to help make sure you use it properly. P.A.S.S. stands for Pull Aim Squeeze Sweep. You certainly learned it at one time or another in school. Once learned it is hard to forget, but, a simple review is always good as with anything learned. To Operate a fire-extinguisher properly:
Pull- The first step is to pull the pin (it usually has the inspection tag attached to it) that prevents the handle from being squeezed.
Aim- The second step is to aim the spray nozzle, or if attached the hose nozzle, at the fire. Aim low at the base of the fire.
Squeeze- The third step is to squeeze the handle to spray the contents. Remember a standard fire-extinguisher has less than 30 seconds of spray time.
Sweep- The final step is to sweep back and forth as you spray the base of the fire.
A fire extinguisher is only to be used for small fires. As a rule call 911 or have someone call before you attempt to put out a fire. Even if you manage to put out a small fire yourself call the fire department to have them come check it out.
Each year in America, carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning claims more than 200 lives and sends another 10,000 people to hospital emergency rooms. The Fargo Fire Department would like you to know that there are simple steps you can take to protect yourself from deadly carbon monoxide fumes.
What is carbon monoxide? Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless and toxic gas. Because it is impossible to see, taste or smell the toxic fumes, CO can kill you before you are aware it is in your home. At lower levels of exposure, CO causes mild effects that are often mistaken for the flu. These symptoms include headaches, dizziness, disorientation, nausea and fatigue. The effects of CO exposure can vary greatly from person to person depending on age, overall health and the concentration and length of exposure.
CO gas can come from several sources: gas or oil-fired appliances, charcoal grills, wood-burning furnaces or fireplaces and motor vehicles.
Everyone is at risk for CO poisoning. Medical experts believe that unborn babies, infants, children, senior citizens and people with heart or lung problems are at even greater risk for CO poisoning.
What you need to do if your carbon monoxide alarm goes off depends on whether anyone is feeling ill or not. What you need to do if your carbon monoxide alarm goes off depends on whether anyone is feeling ill or not.
If no one is feeling ill:
If illness is a factor: