Smoke Alarms

Importance of Having Working Smoke Alarms

Three out of five home fire deaths result from fires in homes without working smoke alarms. More than one-third (38 percent) of home fire deaths result from fires in which no smoke alarms are present. The risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms.

What types of smoke alarms can I buy?

There are many brands of smoke alarms on the market, but they fall under two basic types: ionization and photoelectric.

Ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms detect different types of fires. Since no one can predict what type of fire might start in their home, the USFA recommends that every home and place where people sleep have:

Both ionization AND photoelectric smoke alarms. OR

Dual sensor smoke alarms, which contain both ionization and photoelectric smoke sensors.

Choose interconnected smoke alarms, so when one sounds, they all sound.

There are also alarms for people with hearing loss. These alarms may have strobe lights that flash and/or vibrate to alert those who are unable to hear standard smoke alarms when they sound.

Are smoke alarms expensive? 

Smoke alarms are not expensive and are worth the lives they can help save.

Alarm type and cost

Ionization and photoelectric: $6 and up

Dual sensor: $24 and up

Smoke alarms with a microprocessor (faster to alert, fewer false alarms): $30 and up

Radio frequency/wireless (communicate from one to the next without wires): $40 and up

What powers a smoke alarm?

Smoke alarms are powered by battery or by your home's electrical system. If the smoke alarm is powered by battery, it runs on either a disposable nine-volt battery or a non-replaceable 10-year lithium (“long-life”) battery. Alarms that get power from your home's electrical system, or “hardwired,” usually have a back-up battery that will need to be replaced once a year.

Where do I put smoke alarms in my home?

A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Put smoke alarms inside and outside each bedroom and sleeping area. Put alarms on every level of the home. Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound.

Place smoke alarms on the ceiling or high on the wall. Check the manufacturer's instructions for the best place for your alarm.

Only qualified electricians should install hardwired smoke alarms.

How do I take care of my smoke alarm? 

Is your smoke alarm still working? A smoke alarm with a dead or missing battery is the same as having no smoke alarm at all. A smoke alarm only works when it is properly installed and regularly tested. Take care of your smoke alarms according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Below are some general maintenance tips.

Smoke alarm powered by a nine-volt battery

Test the alarm monthly.

Replace the batteries at least twice every year.

Replace the entire smoke alarm every 10 years.

Smoke alarm powered by a 10-year lithium (or “long-life”) battery

Test the alarm monthly.

Since you cannot (and should not) replace the lithium battery, replace the entire smoke alarm according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Smoke alarm that is hardwired into your home's electrical system

Test the alarm monthly.

Replace the backup battery at least once every year.

Replace the entire smoke alarm every 10 years.

Our Commitment To You

Your fire safety is our priority.  If you live in the Brownsburg Fire Territory response area and are unable to afford a smoke alarm we will provide it to you at no cost.  If you are renting a home or an apartment it is the responsibility of the apartment management or landlord to provide you with a working smoke alarm.

CLICK HERE to request a Smoke Alarm