A properly installed and maintained smoke alarm can alert you and your family to a fire 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Whether you’re awake or asleep, a working smoke alarm is constantly on alert, scanning the air for smoke. A smoke alarm with a dead or missing battery is the same as having no smoke alarm at all!
Smoke alarms are the first line of defense in alerting a person to the presence of smoke and fire in the home. It’s critical that these life-saving devices are tested frequently so they work when you need them most.
Remember, smoke alarms must be maintained! All smoke alarms should be tested monthly and maintained by replacing the batteries if necessary and vacuuming off any dust and debris. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s expiration date and specifications on the label located on the back of the alarm. Whether hardwired or battery driven, ALL smoke alarms should be completely replaced every ten years.
Loudoun County Fire and Rescue offers free home safety and smoke alarm assessments to all Loudoun County residents. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the hotline 703-737-8093 or visit www.loudoun.gov/smokealarms. It is also critical to develop and practice a home escape plan so that everyone knows what to do if an alarm sounds. To learn about home escape planning and to get additional fire safety information, visit www.loudoun.gov/fire or call Lisa Braun, Public Education Manager, at 571-258-3222.