Chief Larkin began his fire service career in 1974 as a seasonal firefighter with the California Department of Forestry (CAL FIRE). Over the last 33 years he has held assignments in 5 CAL FIRE Units throughout Northern California and worked his way up through the ranks to his current position as Unit Chief for CAL FIRE Fresno-Kings Unit and Fire Chief for Fresno County Fire Protection District. Prior to accepting his...
Daylight Savings Time ends Sunday, November 3, 2013 this year, and changing your clocks is a good reminder to change the batteries in your smoke alarms according to the Fresno County Fire Protection District.
“There are a number of reasons smoke alarms can fail,” said Chief Keith Larkin, “but the two leading causes are both battery-related. More than half of the smoke alarms that didn’t operate during a fire were because of missing or disconnected batteries, and another 20 percent were from dead batteries.”
Simply changing the batteries in your smoke alarms can save lives, but there are other ways to make sure your smoke alarm is working efficiently:
· Replace your smoke alarms every 10 years; aging smoke alarms don’t operate as efficiently and are frequently responsible for “nuisance” alarms.
· Test units at least once a month. Use the “test” button on the device or an approved smoke substitute, never use an open flame.
· Periodically clean your smoke alarms (follow the manufacturer’s instructions).
· Place smoke alarms outside each sleeping area and on each level of your home, including the basement. An alarm in the garage is a good idea as well.
· Alarms should be mounted on the wall 4-12 inches from the ceiling, and ceiling-mounted alarms should be placed four inches from the nearest wall. On a vaulted ceiling, mount the alarm at the highest point of the ceiling.
· Make sure everyone in the household knows the sound the alarm makes and what to do if they hear it.
· Have an escape plan for your home and designate a meeting place outside the home to account for family members in the event of an emergency.
· Never “borrow” smoke alarm batteries or disconnect them from the device.
· Never paint a smoke alarm.