FDNY Fire Safety: Smoke Alarms
FDNY members fought two fires on Oct. 20 in homes without working smoke alarms.
Please ensure your home has a working smoke alarm by following these simple tips:
- Check it has the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) Mark (combo smoke/CO alarms are available).
- Install an alarm on every floor of your home, including the basement, and consider interconnected alarms, so when one is triggered, all of them sound.
- Place alarms within 15 feet of all sleeping areas and, if possible, in all bedrooms.
- Install smoke alarms on the ceiling, preferably in the center of the room and no less than 4 inches from a wall. If installed on a wall, be sure it’s 4 to 12 inches from the ceiling.
- The hearing-impaired should install alarms with alternate notifications, i.e. flashing lights.
- Test the alarms once a month
- Be sure all alarms always have batteries. Replace batteries twice a year.
- Never paint over alarms.
- Replace smoke alarms at least every 10 years.
If your smoke alarm sounds because of bathroom steam or cooking vapors, do not remove it or its batteries. Instead:
- Push the “HUSH” button.
- Open windows and turn on vent fans to clear the air.
- Consider reinstalling the alarm away from the cooking area or bathroom.