Have you tested your Smoke Detector

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Have you tested your Smoke Detector

Posted: 10/04/2004
Mayor Bill Haslam and Interim Fire Chief Charles Hansard are joining the National Fire Protection Association this fall to remind Knoxvillians about fire safety during Fire Prevention Week, October 3-9. This year's theme, "It's Fire Prevention Week: Test Your Smoke Alarms," highlights the need for families to install and maintaining smoke alarms in their homes.

"One of the most valuable programs of the Knoxville Fire Department is the Smoke Detector and Battery Program," Mayor Haslam said. "If you need a smoke detector or battery, we will provide them for you."

The Knoxville Fire Department provides smoke detectors and replacement batteries to those households in need. For more information on KFD's Smoke Detector Program call 865-595-4672.

"Properly working smoke detectors make a dramatic difference in saving lives and property," Interim Fire Chief Hansard said. "They are responsible for saving a number of lives here in Knoxville."

Smoke alarms are the most effective early warning device available for the home. Since introduced to consumers in the 1970s, they have helped to reduce the home fire death rate by one half. Even though they are now widely available, roughly 70 percent of home fire deaths result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.

Fires can spread through a home rapidly, and in some cases, individuals may have as little as two minutes to escape to safety once the alarm sounds. The Knoxville Fire Department encourages everyone to keep smoke alarms working and to leave immediately when a smoke alarm sounds. And don't ever go back inside for anything.

Here are some key smoke alarm installation and maintenance tips:

Install at least one smoke alarm on every level of the home and outside each separate sleeping area.
Mount smoke alarms on ceilings or high walls.
Test smoke alarms once a month, following the manufacturer's instructions.
Replace batteries once a year during the Fall or Spring Daylight Savings Time change, or as soon as the device "chirps," indicating that the battery is low.
Replace all smoke alarms after 10 years, even those that are hard-wired or smoke alarms with "long-life" (10-year) batteries. Smoke alarms with "long-life" (10-year) batteries also need to be replaced when the alarm "chirps" or fails to respond to periodic testing. The batteries in these units cannot be replaced.
Alarms that are hard-wired to the home's electrical system should be installed by a qualified electrician.

Fire Prevention Week commemorates the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, in which more than 250 people died, 100,000 were left homeless and more than 17,400 structures were destroyed.