KFD urges you to change the batteries in your smoke detectors


When you Change Your Clocks Change Your Batteries!

With the Daylight Saving Time is ending this weekend, its time to check your smoke alarms and replace their batteries.

Every year people who die in home fires could have been warned it they had properly maintained their smoke alarms.‚  According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) about two-thirds of home fire deaths result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms and working smoke alarms cut the chance of dying in a fire in half.

So what can you do to keep your family safe?

  • Put new batteries in your alarms when you change your clocks.
  • Replace old alarms (more than 10 years old) with new Dual Sensor Smoke Alarms*
  • In new alarm install 9v lithium batteries to get about 10 years on a single battery (which is the life of the alarm.)
  • Check your smoke alarms every month.
  • Practice a home escape plan.
  • Smoke alarms should be installed in every room where an occupant sleeps, outside every sleeping area and on each level of the home, including the basement. Make sure everyone can hear the alarm and knows what it sounds like.
  • For the best protection, equip your home with a combination of ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms or dual-sensor alarms. Interconnect the alarms so that when one sounds, they all sound.
  • Dust or vacuum smoke alarms whenever the battery is changed. Follow the manufacturers instructions for cleaning. The instructions are included in the package or can be found on the internet.
  • Devise a fire escape plan with two ways out of every room and a common outside meeting place. Be sure to practice the plan with all who live in the home, including children.
  • When a smoke alarm sounds, get out of the home immediately, closing doors behind you. Go to your pre-planned meeting place and call 9-1-1.

* So what is in a Dual Sensor Smoke Alarm? There are two types of sensors:

  • Ionization smoke detection is generally more responsive to flaming fires.
    How they work: Ionization-type smoke alarms have a small amount of radioactive material between two electrically charged plates, which ionizes the air and causes current to flow between the plates. When smoke enters the chamber, it disrupts the flow of ions, thus reducing the flow of current and activating the alarm.
  • Photoelectric‚ smoke detection is generally more responsive to fires that begin with a long period of smoldering (called smoldering fires).
    How they work: Photoelectric-type alarms aim a light source into a sensing chamber at an angle away from the sensor. Smoke enters the chamber, reflecting light onto the light sensor; triggering the alarm.

For more information contact the Kingsport Fire Marshals Office at 423-229-9440