86% of Canadian fire deaths occur in residential homes. A high percentage of these deaths occurred in homes without smoke alarms or where the smoke alarm failed to operate.
Dead or missing batteries are the main reason the majority of alarms failed to operate. Smoke and flames do not awaken sleeping people if fire breaks out. The toxic smoke and gases from a fire actually put you into a deeper sleep, too often making it impossible for you to escape safely. That's why smoke alarms are so important. The sound they make provides the early warning you and your family need to escape, and can cut your risk of dying in a home fire nearly in half.
More working smoke alarms in the home increases the chances of surviving a fire. On average, families have less than three minutes from the time the first smoke alarm sounds to escape a fire. The sooner an alarm is heard, the more time there is to respond.
Smoke alarms should be installed in every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement. Larger homes may require additional smoke alarms to provide a minimum level of protection.
For the best protection, interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
Smoke alarms should be installed away from the kitchen to prevent false alarm. Generally, they should be at least 10 feet (3 meters) from a cooking appliance.
Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button, if a smoke alarm is not working, the battery or the smoke alarm itself may need to be replaced, immediately replace any smoke alarm that does not respond properly when tested.
Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old and make sure everyone in the home understands the warning of the smoke alarm and knows how to respond.
To keep smoke alarms working well, follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning.
Working smoke alarms save lives, cutting the risk of dying in a home fire in half. Smoke alarms should be installed and maintained in every home!
Dispose of used ionization smoke alarms
An international study by radiation safety experts determined that domestic smoke alarms would not pose a health or safety threat to the public, or to waste disposal workers, if they are thrown out with regular garbage. There is therefore no need for any special care in the disposal of used smoke alarms. They can be safely included with other household waste for disposal.