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How long has it been since you tested your fire alarm? If you can’t remember, it’s time.

Many people install these devices in their homes and forget about them. However, according to the National Fire Protection Association, almost two-thirds of fire-related deaths occur in properties without working smoke alarms. And since millions of households across the country will soon have Christmas trees and extra candles burning throughout the holiday season, there’s no time like the present to ensure your fire alarm is in good working order.


When should you check your alarm?

* Fire Alarms should be checked monthly and replaced every 8-10 years.

* 9 volt batteries should be replaced annually.

* Since 10-year lithium batteries last the life of the fire alarm, it is recommended to replace the entire unit when the battery dies.

* Alarms wired into the home’s electrical system should be replaced every 8-10 years.

If you don’t already have an alarm, there are two types that work differently to sense fires:

* The ionization alarm uses a small amount of radioactive material to determine whether flames are present. This type of alarm is generally best suited for areas with fast-burning materials such as flammable liquids, paint cleaning solutions and paper products.

* The photoelectric smoke alarm uses a beam of light to detect the presence of smoke. These models are most often used in rooms with large sets of furniture that generally take longer to burn, creating more smoke.


Many experts recommend installing both types of alarms in your home, or you can purchase a dual sensor alarm that contains both sensing elements. Also, try setting a date on your calendar each month to test all alarms so you can ensure the safety of you and your home.

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