Smoke Alarms: Good, Better, Best | OnSafety

Smoke Alarms: Good, Better, Best

smoke alarmEvery day, six people die in home fires.

That’s 2,310 deaths on average each year.

Take a Good, Better, Best approach to fire safety in your home. Fires can happen anytime, so be ready!


  • Install a working smoke alarm in your home. Consumers who have working smoke alarms in their homes die in fires at about half the rate of those who do not.
  • Change the batteries every year.
  • Replace the smoke alarms every 10 years. After all, smoke alarms don’t last forever.


  • Multiple working smoke alarms are better than one. Install alarms on every level of your house, inside each bedroom and outside sleeping areas.
  • Interconnect your smoke alarms. That way, if one smoke alarm detects a fire, all smoke alarms will sound.
  • Consider installing smoke alarms that use 10-year sealed batteries. They don’t require annual battery changes.


  • Install two types of working smoke alarms in your home: ionization and photoelectric alarms.  Smoke alarms use one or both of these methods, sometimes with a heat detector, to warn you about a fire. The safety standard for smoke alarms has been improved and should result in improvements to how both types of alarms perform. Ionization alarms respond quickly to flaming fires and photoelectric detectors respond sooner to smoldering fires. Make sure all alarms are interconnected.
  • Have a fire escape plan and practice it. A smoke alarm can’t save your family’s lives if everyone doesn’t know what to do when it sounds. Have two ways to get out of each room and set a pre-arranged meeting place outside. And remember, once you are out of the house, stay out.
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