At Lyndon Fire and Rescue, we strive to constantly stay involved with our community. We provide a wide range of services, from fire house tours to voluntary home safety inspections. If you have a questions regarding Fire Prevention and cannot find the answer here, or simply need more information, please feel free to Contact Us for assistance.
In the 1960’s the average US citizen had never heard of a smoke alarm. By the mid 1980’s, smoke alarm laws requiring that alarms be placed in all new and existing residences existed in 38 states and thousands of municipalities nationwide with smoke alarm provisions having been adopted by all of the model building code organizations. By 1995, an estimated 93% of all American single and multi-family homes, nursing homes, dormitories, etc., were equipped with smoke alarms.
The impact of smoke alarms on fire safety and protections is dramatic and can be simply stated: when fire breaks out, the smoke alarm functioning as an early warning system reduced the risk of dying by nearly 50%. Alarms are most people’s first line of defense against a fire. In the event of a fire, properly installed and maintained smoke alarms will provide an early warning signal; to your household. This alarm could save your life and those of your loved ones by providing a chance to escape.
Here are some common questions about smoke alarms:
- Why should my home have smoke alarms? In the event of a fire, smoke alarms can provide an early warning system to give you a chance to escape.
- Okay, where do I put them? Smoke alarms should be installed 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 inside and outside the sleeping area. Since smoke and the deadly gases will rise, it is important to install the detector at the proper level (preferably on the ceiling).
- Where would I get smoke alarms? Many hardware, home supply or general merchandise stores carry smoke alarms. Make sure the alarm you purchase is UL rated.
- Are smoke alarms hard to install? Typically not. In most cases, all you will need is a screwdriver. You encounter difficulty, contact you local fire department (on a non-emergency number) and they will be willing to assist you.
- How do I keep my smoke alarms working? Smoke alarms are easy to take care of. Here are two ways steps to remember:
- Replace the batteries when you change your clock for daylight savings time. Using an alarm with a 10 year lithium battery would eliminate this step.
- Keep the detector clean. Dust and debris can interfere with their operation. Vacuum over and around your smoke alarms regularly.
- What if it goes off while I’m cooking? Then it’s doing its job. Do not disable or disconnect the alarm if it goes off due to cooking or some other non-fire cause. You may forget to put it back later. Instead, wave a towel near the alarm to introduce fresh air.
- How long will my alarm last? About 8-10 years, after which it should be replaced.
- Anything else I should know? It is important to test your detectors monthly. Also, always make sure to use new batteries when replacing old ones.
Lyndon Fire personnel will come to your house to check, replace or install a smoke detector at no charge. To request this service simply click Forms and fill out the Smoke Detector request form.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends that consumers purchase and install carbon monoxide detectors with labels showing they meet the requirements of the new Underwriters Laboratories (UL) voluntary standard (UL 2034). The UL standard, published in April 1992, requires detectors to sound an alarm when exposure to carbon monoxide reaches potentially hazardous levels over a period of time.
About 200 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning associated with home fuel-burning heating equipment. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that is produced when any fuel is incompletely burned. Symptoms of carbon monoxide are similar to flu-like illnesses and include dizziness, fatigue, headaches, nausea and irregular breathing. Carbon monoxide can leak from a faulty furnace or fuel-fired heater and can be trapped inside by a blocked chimney or flue. Burning charcoal inside the house or running a car in an attached garage can also produce carbon monoxide in the home.
The first line of defense against carbon monoxide is to make sure that all fuel burning appliances are operating properly. Heating systems (including chimneys and flues) should be inspected and cleaned annually.
Having a working carbon monoxide detector in the home can alert you to a buildup of this deadly gas.