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Saturday, October 27, 2012
To help honor of Fire Prevention Month First Alert (most trusted name in home safety), is encouraging consumers to “Power Up!” their smoke and CO alarms in a nationwide public education campaign focused on encouraging consumers to test alarms & if needed, update their homes with newer devices that use advanced technology to combat frequent false alarms and better detect real threats.
This call to action is particularly timely as the holiday season which is marked by an increased use of stoves, ovens, fireplaces and other potentially CO-emitting heating sources.
“We’ve all been there. You’re working hard over a hot stove making a home-cooked meal and suddenly the smoke alarm activates with no real threat,” said Deborah Hanson, director of external affairs for First Alert. “However, frequent false alarms have far-reaching consequences beyond just mere annoyance and can pose serious safety risks to your family.”
I personally have done this before especially when a smoke alarm is very sensitive to any type of smoke. It's so easy to take the batteries out & then forget to put them back in! Thanks to First Alert they have added an option of a mute button (just in time for the holidays).
Known in the fire industry as “nuisance alarms,” frequent false alarms are typically caused by excessive smoke or steam & the number one reason people disable and/or remove batteries from their alarms. Even those who don’t go to the extreme of disabling their devices can be negatively affected by recurring nuisance alarms which, over time, can lead people to become desensitized to the sound and fail to act in an actual emergency.
Proper alarm placement, regular maintenance and alarm replacement are keys to evading the annoyance of nuisance alarms. According to Hanson, if you experience repeated false alarms, the problem could be solved by simply replacing with newer models, such as the First Alert Maximum Protection series of alarms, which feature breakthrough anti-nuisance technology. In case of false alarms, a mute button will temporarily silence alarm activation.
“Smoke alarms have a useful life of 10 years, on average, while CO alarms should be replaced after five to seven years,” noted Hanson. “If you cannot recall when your alarms were installed, it’s best to be safe and replace the units.”
Additionally, the NFPA recommends testing smoke alarm function at least once a month to ensure that both the batteries and the units themselves are working properly. For optimum alarm performance, First Alert recommends replacing batteries at least twice a year.
Throughout the month of October, First Alert will give away more than 325 smoke alarms and four-packs of batteries through its “Power Up!” Facebook sweepstakes. For details or to enter, visit http://bit.ly/SdjUR1.