I’ll admit, this post’s title is bossy. I’m going to go ahead and blame my three year old’s influence on that one, but if there is one thing I need to write today it’s this:
Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors – if you can’t remember when the last time you did it was, do it now. If it’s been more than a month, check them now.
A mother that my family is close with returned home last week to find her house engulfed in smoke. She had no missed calls, no warnings that something might be wrong.
Her five year old son and grandmother were in that house when it set on fire.
Their visitation was yesterday.
I just, can’t get past this. I’m functioning on the outside but the knowledge that a wonderful mom is going to bed tonight without her baby, it’s not fair.
I don’t know all of the details, and the details aren’t helpful. But what can come from this is someone else makes a decision that potentially saves someone’s life.
Here is what you need to know about smoke alarms:
- Smoke detectors should be vacuumed/dusted – do this before testing
- Check them every month
- Check them both by pushing the button, and with a stimulant – actual fire may not be the best option, you can alternatively buy these aerosol spray testers
- Replace every 5 years (some will say 10 years, but really, this is worth the potentially “unnecessary” expense)
- Ensure that you have a working smoke alarm on every floor of your house and outside of your bedroom door — it is recommended that you keep your bedroom door closed, but keep in mind that this can reduce the sound of the alarm quite a bit so ensure you have a LOUD alarm
- See if your insurance company gives a discount for a home security system with fire monitoring — for some, the savings can actually cover the cost of the system!
- Consider interconnected fire alarms, which all set off at the same time if one detects fire
The testing and upkeep for Carbon Monoxide detectors is the same, although many sources that I read suggested replacing them every three years.
If there are any testing or maintenance tips that I have missed, please comment and I will add them to the post.
It’s hard talking to kids about fire safety. Ella was 2.5 years old when her preschool talked to her about fire safety and it became a huge fear for her – she didn’t understand that fire was a possibility, not an inevitability. We had to search the house at bedtime for weeks to ensure that there were no fires.
But, we still need to find a way to talk about it.