Fire Safety During the Winter Months

Winter is peak season for residential fires. According to the United States Fire Administration (USFA), half of all home fire deaths occur between the first day of November and the last day of February. The main reasons for the rise in fire deaths are the cold weather and the ways that people try to keep warm. So stay safe and make sure you have a working smoke alarm to alert you in case of a fire.

Types of Smoke Alarms:

There are many different brands of smoke alarms available on the market today, but they fall under two basic types: ionization and photoelectric.

Ionization alarms sound more quickly when a flaming, fast-moving fire occurs. Photoelectric alarms are quicker at sensing smoldering, smoky fires. There are also combination smoke alarms that combine ionization and photoelectric technologies into one unit called a dual sensor smoke alarm.

Because ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms are better at detecting distinctly different, yet potentially fatal, fires, and because homeowners cannot predict what type of fire might start in a home, the USFA recommends the installation of both types or dual sensor smoke alarms.

The best smoke detectors are hard-wired smoke alarms with a battery back-up. It’s recommended that you check the batteries monthly, and replace them at least once per year. The entire unit should be replaced every 8-10 years. If you need help installing hard-wired smoke detectors, submit a service request on ServiceLive and get connected with a trusted and qualified Electrician or Handyman to provide this service for you.

Where Do I Put Them?

Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement. Many fatal fires begin late at night or in the early morning. For extra safety, install smoke alarms both inside and outside sleeping areas.

Fire Prevention Tips

  • Don’t leave cooking food unattended.
  • Don’t leave children unattended in the kitchen.
  • Use flashlights and battery operated lamps, not candles, if the power goes out.
  • Don’t leave candles unattended.
  • Place candles in sturdy, non-flammable candle holders.
  • Don’t put candles near combustibles like decorations, curtains, etc.
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