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Smoke Detector Safety and Holiday Fire Prevention

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Loss prevention tips for all your home matters provided by Alicia Driscoll, MBA. Alicia is a personal lines insurance agent at Insure Forward, Grand Forks.

 

The good ol’ saying of “Fall Back and Spring Forward” reminds me twice a year to forward or rewind time. One additional habit to do the morning you are changing time is to double check the smoke detectors.

 

Smoke detectors are one of the most important safety devices you can install in your home to protect your family and personal belongings. The good news is they are inexpensive, too. Once you’ve installed smoke detectors, it is absolutely necessary to test them regularly to ensure that they will sound during a fire. After all, what good are they if they are not working when you need them the most?!

 

The fall season also means preparation for Thanksgiving and Christmas family gatherings. It’s an even bigger reason to make sure those smoke detectors are working, as it is a time for families to cook together. It’s the holidays that seem to revolve around the kitchen, which is usually crowded with guests and activity.

 

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Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Odds are someone cooking the dinner will be busy or get distracted either checking the football game score or talking to family and leave that kitchen towel a little to close to the kitchen stove.

 

To ensure the safety of the whole family, having that annoying smoke detector go off has the impact of saving your and your family’s life. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of kitchen fires and is the most prevalent cause of nuisance alarms and fire-department sirens.

 

So, on Sunday November 3rd, when you change all your clocks back an hour, remember to check your smoke alarms to secure the safety of you and your family this holiday season and all year through.

 

Tips when testing your smoke detector
To make certain those smoke detectors are working properly, test them on a regular basis. To do so:

  • Press the test button on the unit and wait for it to sound.
  • Light a candle and hold it six inches below the detector so the heated air will rise into the detector.
  • If the alarm does not sound within 20 seconds, blow out the candle and let the smoke rise.
  • If the alarm still does not sound, open the detector up and clean the unit. Also make sure that all of the electrical connections are in good working order or your batteries are charged and in working condition.
  • Then, test the unit again. If it is still not working, replace it immediately.

 

Remember, safety first this holiday season! 

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