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Please take smoke alarms seriously

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
A friend from another site just lost his sister in a fire. She died from smoke inhalation and never even got out of bed. Please take this seriously, even if he wrote it from a still somewhat traumatized mindset. Here is a post from him:
I had made a reply on another forum some time back and I believe it was in the gun thread. Anyway, I had said that I have always slept with a fire extinguisher with me because although I won't go as far to say that I don't believe in guns I truly have a disdain for them especially in a home where children reside. Anyway, this thread isn't about that.

The reasons I sleep with a fire extinguisher within reach of my bed was hardly because of the threat of fire. To me the fire extinguisher was a weapon, it was a source to jet something into the face of an intruder hit them with it, or in the least use it to knock out a window to get access out in the case of a fire, oh and maybe spray it on fire first.

Anyway, what I have learned from my sisters death and from the investigators is that smoke is the real killer and that people rarely burn-up alive in a fire, they are almost always dead from the smoke before they burn up. Or the smoke is so overpowering that it knocks them out and they never know that they burn up. If you are asleep and smoke enters your room you may not have a chance to ever get up and do anything about it, let alone save your children or loved ones.

You absolutely must rely on early smoke detection by means of working smoke alarms in your home. If there were a working smoke alarm in my sisters home she may not have perished, there was not a working smoke detector in her home.

Just trying to let you guys know especially if you're lazy when it comes to those things as I am that it is a chore that you really need to take seriously, and do yourself a favor if you do a survey of your home and you only have one or maybe two in a large house and you are looking at the goal as being to get as quick a notice as possible at the onset of a fire. just ask yourself if one is enough.

I have reassessed the need and the goals of the smoke detection system in my home and what I come up with is that I am going to go with a 50% rule, that if half the detectors in my home don't work I will still get a very quick notice of a fire. I have no less than 6 working detctors in my home right now. ( not a big home )

So please,and especially if you have children in the home, get up and go check them and reassess your system to make sure that it meets your needs, the goal is to get you up while you have time left to do something like get yourself and your family out of the home. If you don't think your current system will do that , then rework it and go with the 50% rule, one supposedly working detector is a gamble an unecessary gamble with very high stakes and you might lose if the time comes.

Buy a bunch of them, I installed and tested six new ones in an hour. Yeah they will drive me nuts later when the batteries start to go because they will beep but hey it only means that I need to change the battery not order a casket.

So whoever reads this thread needs to reply with their system as it is and then post whatever improvements that they made to it. Let's make this the smoke detector thread,

I also ran a fire drill in my home recently with my kids involved. Turns out the firemen really do know what they are talking about. Kids don't know much but if you show them something at least once they will remember it when they need to.
post #2 of 5
That is so true. It's very important to maintain working smoke detectors and teach children what to do. I lost a friend in high school due to smoke inhalation and a friend of mine lost her son just a year or so ago the same way.

I have a 14 x 70 manufactured home. We have two smoke detectors....one between the kid's bedrooms and one outside of ours. We also have a carbon monoxide detector near the furnace and gas stove. There is a fire extinguisher in the closet between the kids bedrooms and another one in the utility room near our bedroom and the kitchen.

One more thing to remember, if a door is closed, the smoke may not escape enough to cause the alarm to sound. A few years ago, we had an electrical problem. There was a small fire in the bathroom and the door was closed. My dog was barking at the door and when we checked to see what was wrong with him, smoke came billowing out. Fortunately, I was able to get everyone out as well as put out the fire. We found the problem and fixed it but I was never able to rest easy in that house.
post #3 of 5
There's reminders twice a year on tv and radio here to change the batteries on your smoke alarms. One when daylight saving starts and the other when daylight saving finishes. Since you're changing all your clocks over, you can change your batteries over too. New building regulations require smoke alarms to be hard wired so there's no need for batteries, but the majority that are installed aren't hard wired.

Change those batteries....check the things work.
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

post #4 of 5
I know my smoke detectors work. Anytime we cook all 3 go off (we live in a very small house so three is all we need). We don't even see the smoke coming from the stove or griddle. Maybe they are actually smell detectors..hm...
I do agree that it is very important to keep smoke detectors in the house and to check them and change the batteries through out the year. Luckily to test ours we just have to cook something, but for others who don't have to deal with that on a daily basis...you need to manualy check yours!
post #5 of 5


please keep the batteries fresh!
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