Smoke Detector Program
The program targets
privately owned households within the Hernando County. All households are
encouraged to have a Smoke Detector in their home. The program is sponsored
by the State Bureau of Fire Prevention and Radio Shack.
The three-toned alarms include
a popular reset button that lets users press a button rather than take out the
battery if the detector sounds off during cooking or non-threatening situation.
Smoke alarms play a vital role in reducing deaths and
injuries from fire and have contributed to the almost 50% decrease in fire
deaths since the late 1970s. It is estimated that 95% of U.S homes have at least
one smoke alarm. Sixty-five percent of reported home fire deaths occurred in
homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. Properly installed and
maintained smoke alarms save lives and protect against injury and loss due to
Facts & figures
- A 2004 telephone survey found that 96% of U.S.
households had at least one smoke alarm, yet in 2000-2004, no smoke
alarms were present or none operated in almost half (46%) of the reported
- An estimated 890 lives could be saved each year if all
homes had working smoke alarms.
- 65% of reported home fire deaths in 2000-2004 resulted
from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
- The fire death rate in homes with working smoke alarms
is 51% less than the rate for homes without this protection.
- In one out of every five homes equipped with at least
one smoke alarm installed, not a single one was working.
- Why do smoke alarms fail? Most often because of
missing, disconnected or dead batteries. Nuisance activations were the
leading cause of disabled smoke alarms.
Most smoke alarms use one of two common
sensing systems for detecting a fire.
- Ionization-type smoke alarms have a small amount of
radioactive material between two electrically charged plates, which ionizes
the air and causes current to flow between the plates. When smoke enters the
chamber, it disrupts the flow of ions, thus reducing the flow of current and
activating the alarm.
- Photoelectric-type alarms aim a light source into a
sensing chamber at an angle away from the sensor. Smoke enters the chamber,
reflecting light onto the light sensor; triggering the alarm.
- Ionization smoke detection is generally more responsive
to flaming fires and photoelectric smoke detection is generally more
responsive to smoldering fires. Both types of technologies have improved
home fire safety.
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home,
including the basement, making sure that there is an alarm outside every
separate sleeping area. New homes are required to have a smoke alarm in
every sleeping room and all smoke alarms must be interconnected.
- Hard-wired smoke alarms operate on your household
electrical current. They can be interconnected so that every alarm sounds
regardless of the fire's location. This is an advantage in early warning,
because it gives occupants extra time to escape if they are in one part of
the home and a fire breaks out in another part. Alarms that are hard-wired
should have battery backups in case of a power outage, and should be
installed by a qualified electrician.
- If you sleep with bedroom doors closed, have a
qualified electrician install interconnected smoke alarms in each room so
that when one alarm sounds, they all sound.
- If you, or someone in your home is deaf or hard of
hearing, consider installing an alarm that combines flashing lights,
vibration and/or sound.
- Mount smoke alarms high on walls or ceilings (remember,
smoke rises). Ceiling mounted alarms should be installed at least four
inches away from the nearest wall; wall-mounted alarms should be installed
four to 12 inches away from the ceiling.
- If you have ceilings that are pitched, install the
alarm near the ceiling's highest point.
- Don't install smoke alarms near windows, doors, or
ducts where drafts might interfere with their operation.
- Never paint smoke alarms. Paint, stickers, or other
decorations could keep the alarms from working.
People who are
deaf or hard-of-hearing
- Consider installing a smoke alarm that uses a flashing
light, vibration and/or sound to alert people to a fire emergency. The
majority of fatal fires occur when people are sleeping, and because smoke
can put people into a deeper sleep, it is important to have the necessary
early warning of a fire to ensure that they wake up.
- Be sure that the smoke alarm you buy carries the label
of an independent testing laboratory.
- If there is fire or smoke, get out immediately and go
to the designated meeting place. But if you are trapped by fire or smoke,
have your TTY/TTD device or other alerting system close to the bed so that
communication with emergency personnel is possible should fire or smoke trap
you in your room.
- Alarms with a 10-year lithium batteries eliminate the
problem of having to change batteries. The batteries are designed to
last the life of an alarm. Ten-year battery alarms still need to be tested
in accordance with manufacturers' instructions at least once a month.
- Alarms that go off because of burnt toast, steam, or
other non-threatening sources can be a nuisance and can discourage people
from using smoke alarms. Use alarms with a silencing feature that can be
pressed to delay the alarm for a short period time. If the smoke does not
clear in a certain amount of time, the alarm will sound again.
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and
outside each separate sleeping area. If you sleep with bedroom doors closed,
have a qualified electrician install interconnected smoke alarms in each
room so when one sounds, they all sound. Install a new battery in all
conventional alarms at least once a year. Test your alarm at least once
a month, following the manufacturer's instructions.
- Include everyone in your home and make a home escape
plan, making provisions for anyone who has a disability. Practice your plan
at least twice a year .
For further information, Please contact our Headquarters
National Fire Protection Association 1998 Fire Loss in the U.S. and Fire
in the United States 1987-1996 11th Edition