Never Underestimate The Importance Of Smoke Detectors

Never Underestimate The Importance Of Smoke Detectors

Something as simple as changing the batteries in your fire alarm can wind up saving your life. 

With Daylight Saving Time approaching, in addition to setting back the clocks on March 13, the National Fire Protection Association is urging homeowners to also check the batteries on their smoke alarms. It's estimated that 66% of home fire deaths nationwide happen in homes where detectors are inoperable or have been disregarded.

"Working smoke alarms can make the difference between life and death in a fire," explained Lorraine Carli, vice president of outreach and advocacy for NFPA.

During last year's Fire Prevention Week, the theme of NFPA's annual campaign was "Hear the Beep Where You Sleep," calling on homeowners to set up a smoke detector outside every occupied bedroom in the house. When alarms are properly maintained, this can dramatically increase the likelihood that everyone escapes a fire unscathed.

Between 2009 and 2013, an average of 940 people annually died nationwide in house fires without smoke detectors, according to NFPA's estimates. This doesn't include the 510 deaths per year in homes where there were alarms, but they weren't working.

Alarms should be replaced once every 10 years
Fire safety officials recommend changing the batteries in smoke alarms once per year. Detectors have a lifespan of about 10 years, and should be replaced when the time comes to ensure they continue to function properly.

For information on homeowners insurance and the protection it provides, speak with your local Selective agent.