Many house fire related deaths are reported every year in the United States. What is even more distressing is that some of these deaths could have been prevented if there were sufficient, working, smoke or carbon monoxide detectors in the home. The question we should ask ourselves, then, is would the smoke detectors in my home save lives in the event of a house fire?
Firstly, its good to think about how many smoke detectors you should have in your home. While this will vary depending on the homes size, in general you should have one on every livable floor of the house which should include the garage and basement. It can also be beneficial to have one in each bedroom.
Even when you have enough smoke detectors its very important to check them all every month to make sure they are working and do not require new batteries. Never disconnect a smoke or carbon monoxide detector, even if you burn food in the kitchen as it is very easy to forget to reconnect it and a disconnected smoke alarm is useless to you.
Another important measure to take in keeping your household safe is to perform a periodic fire drill so that, in the event of a fire, everyone will know exactly what to do. Make sure smoke detectors are loud and distinct enough so that everyone would hear them and know that it is the alarm, even if they are sleeping. Yes, its good to ask yourself whether the smoke detectors in your home would save lives in the event of a house fire.
Devereaux Van Dyne, Certified Professional Home Inspector