The IAFC (International Association of Fire Chiefs) and fire experts nationwide encourage people to change smoke detector batteries at least annually. An easy way to remember to change your batteries is when you turn your clock back in the fall. Replace old batteries with fresh, high quality alkaline batteries, to keep your smoke detector going year-long.
After inserting a fresh battery in your smoke detector, check to make sure the smoke detector itself is working by pushing the safety test button.
Install at least one smoke detector on every level of your home, including the basement and family room and, most important, outside all bedrooms.
Each month, clean your smoke detectors of dust and cobwebs to ensure their sensitivity.
To make sure your emergency flashlights work when you need them, use high-quality alkaline batteries. Note: Keep a working flashlight near your bed, in the kitchen, basement and family room, and use it to signal for help in the event of a fire.
Install a fire extinguisher in or near your kitchen and know how to use it. Should you need to purchase one, the IAFC recommends a multi-or all-purpose fire extinguisher that is listed by an accredited testing laboratory such as Underwriters Laboratory.
Create at least two different escape routes and practice them with the entire family. Children are at double the risk of dying in a home fire because they often become scared and confused during fires. Make sure your children understand that a smoke detector signals a home fire and that they recognize its alarm.
Can emergency services find your house? Post your address numbers in a prominent location on a contrasting background. Keep the numbers visible by trimming nearby branches or removing other obstructions.