The ubiquitous fire alarm is found in nearly every home. The portable variety makes it convenient to make sure you have one in all strategic locations in your house.
Unfortunately, we often wait for the alarm to start beeping to warn us the batteries are low. Many people change the batteries promptly, but far too often, when the low battery alarm goes off, if fresh batteries are not available, people disconnect the alarm with the intention of replacing them. Deadly mistake as many firefighters will attest to.
A fire alarm gives you an early alert that there is a fire. The couple of extra minutes you get is the difference between life and death. No battery or low battery means no alarm.
I have made it a habit to do the following every year
- Change the batteries when we go to daylight saving time and once again when we go back to standard time.
- Clean the outer surface when changing batteries.
- Once a month, press the test button to make sure the alarm is working properly.
- This is also a good time to have a family discussion on what to do when alarms go off. A family emergency plan. Have you kids participate in the discussion and decide beforehand, who will lead the kids and pets to safety.
Friends, spend the few minutes it takes to do these checks. Involve the kids. I used to take the kids out for ice cream every time we changed batteries and had safety discussions. Believe me, my kids never let me put off changing the battery and the ice cream that surely followed. Hey I am not complaining. I like ice cream too!!