Smoke Detectors - Do They Really Save Lives?
Statistics show that most fatal fires occur at night while you sleep. The smoke and poisonous gases are the leading causes of death in fires and kill you long before the flames reach you.
- Suffocation – The normal level of oxygen in the air is 21%. In a fire, this level starts to drop:
- Below 17% - clear thinking and muscle control becomes difficult
- 6% to 10% - breathing will stop
- After four to six minutes without oxygen, brain death occurs.
- Heat – Fire can easily exceed 1000 Fahrenheit, which not only severely burns exposed tissue but also can cause unconsciousness in a very short time.
Where Should I Put My Smoke Detectors?
According to the Standard on Household Fire Warning Equipment (NFPA 74), minimum protection requires smoke detectors outside each bedroom and on each additional level of the house including the basement. For extra protection it is recommended that you also install detectors inside each bedroom, the dining room, furnace room, utility room and hallways.
Since smoke rises, smoke detectors need to be mounted high on a wall or on the ceiling. It is extremely important to test and clean detectors regularly. An easy way to remember to do this is to change your clock when you change your battery.
Canyon Fire will come to your home and offer advice into where it would be best for you to have a smoke detector and also install them for you at no cost.
Fire Escape Plan
Smoke detectors give you warning but it is up to you to get yourself and your family out of danger. Every family should have and practice a fire escape plan. It should give everyone at least two ways to escape in case of a fire.
- When using your escape plan remember to crawl low, under the smoke, and keep your mouth covered.
- Feel closed doors with the back of your hand. If it is hot, use another exit. If not, open the door slowly and check for smoke and fire.
- If your clothes happen to catch fire: STOP, DROP AND ROLL.
- Cover your face with your hands to protect it from the flames.
- If someone else catches fire, smother the flames with a blanket or coat and roll them on the ground.
- Meet at the designated meeting place once outside, and then call for help – never return to a burning building.