For many households through the US, last week was the time to turn the clocks back an hour to end daylight savings time. There is a lot of debate about whether Daylight Savings Time accomplishes its purpose and is worth the trouble it causes. Regardless of your opinion, or our opinion, the fact is, it is a well-publicized event that obligates most American homes to perform a simple task twice a year. It is a perfect time to perform another simple task that without question is definitely worth the trouble. What is that?
It’s time to change the battery in your smoke detectors. Smoke detectors save lives. And it doesn’t matter if you live near us in Beverly Hills, Culver City, Mar Vista, Miracle Mile, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Los Angeles, West Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Marina Del Rey, Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, Bel Air, Westwood, Downtown Los Angeles, Vernon, Huntington Park, Sherman Oaks, Encino or in some distant city. One life lost to fire is one life too many. The folks here at GAMA Air want to emphasize this to make sure your home is as prepared as it can be for the possibility of a fire.
Why bother? Here are some sad statistics:
- Three out of five home fire deaths result from fires in properties without working smoke alarms.
- More than one-third of home fire deaths result from fires in which no smoke alarms are present.
- Half of home fire deaths happen between 11pm and 7am, when most people are asleep.
- Heating systems is the second leading cause of home fires.
The good news is that a working smoke alarm greatly increases the chances of your family getting out of a burning house in time.
We strongly urge you to consider the following recommendations:
- Install a smoke alarm in every bedroom and outside each sleeping area. “Hear the BEEP where you SLEEP.”
- Install at least one smoke alarm on every level of the home even if there are no sleeping areas on that level.
- Install smoke alarms that are connected to your home’s electric system, with a battery backup.
- Install smoke alarms that include both ionization and photoelectric detection. An ionization alarm is more responsive to flames, while a photoelectric alarm is more responsive to a smoldering, smoking fire.
- Go the extra mile and install smoke alarms throughout your home that are interconnected, so they all sound if any one of them goes off.
- Install smoke alarms at least 10 feet away from where you cook. And if your cooking sets one off, DO NOT remove the battery. Just press the HUSH or SILENCE button.
- Never paint over a smoke alarm.
- Test your alarms monthly by pressing the TEST button.
- Replace your smoke alarm if it is 5 to 7 years old, or if it fails the monthly test.
- Some people, especially children and older adults, may need help to wake up. Make sure someone will help them if the smoke alarm sounds.
Will implementing the above recommendations take time and money? Of course. But the real question to ask yourself is: “How much time and money is the life of my family worth?” Don’t be an ‘If-Only’ victim. Don’t become a sad statistic. Take the time now to make sure your family is as protected as possible in the event of a home fire.
Have a question that just can’t wait? Visit our “Ask an Expert” page and fill out the form. We’ll get the resident expert here at GAMA Air to send an answer to you fast!