The Technical Aspects Of Smoke Alarms

If ever a tool was invented for the fire service that has saved countless lives, the undisputed champion has to be the smoke alarm. The smoke alarms currently in use were introduced in the early 1970s. I remember my first smoke alarm cost about $50...


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If the smoke alarm has a nine-volt battery or two AA batteries, they must be replaced once a year. Fire safety educators often teach people to change the batteries in the fall when they turn back clocks: “Change Your Clock, Change Your (Smoke Alarm) Battery.” Smoke alarms should be tested once a month to ensure they are operational.

Lastly, the devices are called “smoke alarms,” not “smoke detectors.” The most important thing to teach the public is this: Never go to sleep without a properly operating smoke alarm watching over you.

 

TIMOTHY R. SZYMANSKI has been in the fire service for 41 years and is the Public Education & Information Officer (PEIO) for Las Vegas, NV, Fire & Rescue. He has worked in every position from firefighter/paramedic to fire chief. Szymanski is a Nevada-certified Fire Service Master Instructor and holds national and state certifications in many areas of the fire service. He has received numerous awards, including the 2008 Liberty Mutual National Firemark Award for Community Education and the Community Service Award from the Nevada Broadcasters Association. He was the Fire & Emergency PIO during the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. His website is www.firepeio.com and Twitter at firepeio.