According to a recent survey among 1,004 adults commissioned by the nonprofit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and conducted by Harris Interactive by telephone in September 2010, Americans continue to have misunderstandings about smoke alarms, including how many they need in their homes, and how often they should be tested and replaced.
- Never remove or disable smoke alarms.
- Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button, and make sure everyone in your home knows their sound.
- If an alarm “chirps,” warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.
- Replace all smoke alarms, including alarms that use 10-year batteries and hard-wired alarms, when they’re 10 years old (or sooner) if they do not respond properly when tested.
- Smoke alarms are available for people who are deaf. These alarms use strobe lights to wake the person. Install vibration equipment – pillow or bed shakers. This equipment is activated by the sound of the smoke alarm.
- People with mild to severe hearing loss can use equipment that emits a mixed, low-pitched sound. This device is activated by the sound of a traditional smoke alarm.