Barry Brickey: Smoke Alarm Tips

Smoke Alarm Tips

By Barry Brickey

The cold and warm weather intermingle this time of year. You don’t know if that coat you had on this morning will make you too hot by the afternoon or not. With the changes in the spring there should be some other changes too, like the batteries in your smoke alarms, or change out the old smoke alarms in your home when you change your clocks for daylight savings time.

Every year people who die in home fires could have been warned if they had properly maintained their smoke alarms. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) about two-thirds of home fire deaths in 2005-2009 resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms, or no working smoke alarms.

So what can you do to keep your family safe?

1. Put new batteries in your alarms when you change your clocks.

2. Replace old alarms (more than 10 years old) with new Dual Sensor Smoke Alarms

3. In a new alarm, install 9v lithium batteries to get about 10 years on a single battery (which is the life of the alarm.)

4. Check your smoke alarms every month.

5. Practice a home escape plan.

The new technology of a dual sensor smoke alarm brings the detection of smoke to a quicker response. The Ionization sensor and the photo electric sensor in the alarm picks up fast burning fires quicker, thus giving you the best smoke alarm protection. These new alarms, when paired with a lithium 9v battery, can give you great service for 10 years. A 10 year battery? Yes, that’s what the lithium 9v can do in a new smoke alarm, but even without changing the battery every year you should still check the alarm each month.

If you would like the ultimate in home fire protection, install a home sprinkler system. The sprinkler system will stop or contain the fire with usually one sprinkler head and uses much less water than the fire dept would. The damage would be minimal and you would be back in your home, normally, in only a day or two after a fire.

To find out more about Smoke Alarms and Home Sprinkler Systems, please contact Barry Brickey, the Public Education Officer for the Kingsport Fire Department, at 423-224-2820 orbrickey@kingsporttn.gov .

Barry is a husband and father from Kingsport, TN and a former radio and Children’s program host. He has been a youth minister for over 17 years and enjoys spending time with his family and watching the Tennessee Vols.

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