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Fargo Fire Department Recommends Smoke Detector Check - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Fargo Fire Department Recommends Smoke Detector Check

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As the saying goes: "Where there's smoke, there's fire."


So as we fall back this weekend for Daylight Saving Time, it's a good time to keep in mind one more thing: your smoke detector.

"A working smoke detector is the only thing that's going to be able to alert you 24/7, 365 days a year that you have an issue in your house," says Fargo Fire Department Captain Ryan Viergutz.

A few simple rules about smoke detectors can keep them working properly. First, check them monthly, replace batteries every six months and remember that a detector should be replaced every seven to 10 years.

"All detectors should have a warning signal for when your battery is no longer acceptable, but we want you to replace them before that," says Viergutz. "When you get that chirp that tells you the battery is no good, then the detector isn't going to work until you replace that battery," he says.

Second, find the right kind of smoke detector. An  ionization detector is most common and looks for particles of combustion. To avoid accidental alarms, a photoelectric detector, which senses visible smoke, can be used in areas where steam may be present, such as a bathroom or kitchen. Combination detectors are more expensive, but use both methods of detection.

"If you have a smoldering fire that's putting off a fair amount of smoke and not a lot of heat, that photoelectric could be activated before an ionization detector" says Viergutz. "A free burning fire where it's consuming most of that fuel and you have a lot of flame and not a lot of smoke, that ionization detector is going to get activated before the photoelectric detector would," he says.

Third, find the right location. Detectors are most effective near the tops of doors or on ceilings where smoke rises. There should be at least one smoke detector on each floor of your home so the smoke doesn't have to travel far to reach the detector. It is especially important to also have a detector where people sleep.

"Most fatalities in house fires come about when people are sleeping and that smoke detector is the only thing that is going to wake them up and get them out of the house," Viergutz says.

So when you reset your clocks, remember to check your smoke detector.

"Check your smoke detectors at the same time. It's also a great time, since you're going through your house anyway, to do a small home safety inspection to make sure your appliances are in good shape; that your electrical cords are in good condition. Hopefully you have a fire extinguisher of some kind in your house. It's a good time to pull it off the wall and make sure it's properly charged," says Viergutz.

 

 

 







 

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