The Orange Volunteer Fire Department Is Reminding People To Check Their Smoke Detector Batteries At Least Once A Year
Halloween isn’t the only thing happening on October 31 this year. That’s also when most people will set their clocks back one hour. It’s a good time to check your smoke detector batteries. “With the furniture we have in our homes today, fires and toxic smoke can spread much rapidly than in the past, when natural materials were used,” said Vaughan Dumas, fire chief. “That’s why having a sufficient number of well-located, working smoke alarms is essential to give you the most amount of time to get out and get help.”
Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, which sometimes are combined in one device, usually hang unnoticed on the ceiling. “When was the last time you checked out your smoke detectors?” asked Dumas.
Smoke detectors should be tested once a month by pressing the test button, according to the National Fire Protection Association. In addition, the NFPA recommends changing batteries at least once a year. “It’s always easiest to associate a task with something else going on so you don’t forget,” said Dumas. “We suggest changing your batteries when you change your clocks.” This fall, clocks change at 2 a.m. November 1, so most people will change clocks before going to sleep October 31.
Smoke detectors are an important part of any plan to keep a home safe from fire. Roughly 3 out of 5 fire deaths happen in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. “That’s why firefighters push the issue of smoke detectors,” said Dumas. “Today’s alarms react quicker and sound fewer false alarms.” Dumas offered these additional points:
- Smoke detectors that are more than 10 years old need to be replaced;
- If you replace your detectors, look for devices that say, “Helps reduce cooking nuisance alarms” beneath the UL label. Those devices meet a new standard designed to differentiate between cooking and other smoke. Smoke detectors still should be at least 10 feet away from cooking equipment. If replacing detectors, they should all be the same brand so they “talk” to each other enabling all the detectors to go off if one goes off;
- People with hearing deficits can get alarms with strobe lights and bed shakers;
- Never paint over a smoke or carbon monoxide detector; and
- Smoke alarms should be inside every sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level.
Those with additional questions about smoke detectors can call the Orange Volunteer Fire Department at (203) 891-4703 or the Fire Marshal’s office at (203) 891-4711.
The Orange Volunteer Fire Association provides fire protection to residents and businesses in Orange and, through mutual aid, surrounding towns. Members receive training in fire suppression, rescue, hazardous materials response, homeland security issues and other emergency services.
Operating strictly with revenues from fundraisers and donations, the Orange Volunteer Fire Department is one of the remaining few all-volunteer incorporated fire departments in Connecticut. Active members are on-call to serve the community on a 24-hour/seven-day basis, responding from stations on Orange Center Road and Boston Post Road.
In addition, the fire company offers public education services including lectures, demonstrations and training. For information about membership, donations or public education, call (203) 891-4703, click on https://www.orangevfd.org/ or find us on Facebook.