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Smoke Detectors

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Smoke AlarmsMake a complaint against your landlord for failing to install the required smoke alarm in your rental unit.

Register a fire alarm or burglar alarm.

A working smoke alarm increases your chance of surviving a house fire by more than 50%.

The Evanston Fire Department reminds you to change your batteries in your smoke alarm(s) as you change your clocks for Daylight Savings Time. Change your clocks, change your batteries!

More than 3,000 deaths occur in house fires each year. In 2008, fire killed more Americans than all natural disasters combined. Most people die from smoke and toxic gases and not the fire itself.

Pdetectorrotect yourself and your family by:

  • Purchasing multiple smoke alarms
  • Installing your smoke alarms properly
  • Identifying and practicing escape routes
  • Maintain your smoke alarms and test them monthly

What kind should I buy and how much should I spend?

  • Smoke alarms can be either electrically hard-wired or battery operated.
  • The two most common smoke alarms are ionization and photoelectric.
  • Ionization are more responsive to a flaming fire.
  • Photoelectric are quicker at sensing smoldering, smoky fires.
  • Either smoke alarm will provide sufficient time for escape for all fires; however, for best protection, it is recommended both be installed.
  • Make sure the model has been listed by a recognized testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratory or Factory Mutual.
  • Smoke alarms can be purchased for about $10 - $30.
  • Smoke alarms have a life span of about 8-10 years and should be replaced after this time. Always follow manufacturer's guidelines.

Where should I install them?

  • Smoke alarms must be installed on each level of your home, outside each sleeping area, and inside each bedroom.
  • Smoke alarms should be placed on the ceiling or high on a wall, 4-6 inches below the ceiling.
  • For best practice, smoke alarms should be interconnected so that a fire detected by any smoke alarm will sound an alarm in all smoke alarms.

Escape Plans

Once a fire has started, it spreads rapidly. Normal exits may become blocked by smoke or fire. You and your family should plan multiple escape routes to guarantee a safe exit.

  • Plan two exits from every room. Second story windows may need a rope or chain ladder to enable occupants to escape safely.
  • Choose a meeting place outside to meet, to ensure everyone has escaped.
  • PLEASE practice your escape plan. Make sure children know exactly what to do; you may not be able to reach them at the time of a fire.