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Is Your Smoke Alarm Working?

A Working Smoke Alarm Increases the Likelihood of Surviving a Structural Fire

Fire kills without regard to age, race or sex and the toxic gases and smoke from fires can kill just as quickly as the flames themselves. Many fatalities can be prevented through education and use of smoke detectors. While more then 90 percent of U.S. homes have at least one smoke alarm, studies indicate that about a third of them are inoperable due to age -- or dead or missing batteries.

  • Make sure your smoke detector has fresh batteries. Test your smoke detector regularly and install fresh batteries twice a year.
  • Know how to use your fire extinguisher and keep it in easy access to your kitchen. Keep additional fire extinguishers in easy access for any other area where there is a fire hazard.
  • Know multiple ways to get out of your home in the event of a fire, and make sure everyone in your family knows those exits, too.
  • Have a plan for your family emergencies. Select a place where you and your family members will meet if you get separated during an emergency.
  • Call 911 if there is a fire. Go to a safe location away from the fire call 911. Remember: In apartments, units are generally connected as part of the same building. Get out of the building, not just your apartment.
  • Don't overload your electrical outlets. A wall outlet with several extension cords and multiple appliances may seem innocuous, but it can quickly become an open blaze.
  • Get renter's insurance. A property's insurance only covers the property owner's buildings, not the belongings of the residents who occupy an apartment. A typical renter's insurance policy will provide coverage for your belongings and many provide you with liability coverage.