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Test Your Fire Alarms to Prevent Burn Injuries and Fire Injuries

Smoke detectors in your home are your front-line defense in the event of a fire. They can alert you in time so you can get out safely—before you suffer burns or serious injury. Yet, millions of homes across the country do not have working fire alarms.


Even if you have fire alarms in your Homestead home, you need to test them to make sure they are really keeping you and your family safe. Here’s how:

1) Test the battery.

If you have battery-operated alarms, test the battery by using the test button on the alarm. If your alarm batteries need replacing, consider replacing with long-life lithium batteries which will protect your home longer. Better yet, replace your battery-powered smoke detectors with wired alarms. These offer additional protection.

2) Don’t just trust the tester.

Sometimes, the sensor on the alarm will stop working, even though the alarm will test as “normal.” In addition to running a traditional test on your alarm, run the candle test, too. Carefully light and blow out a candle directly under the alarm sensor. If it doesn’t beep, it’s time for a new one.

3) Check the date.

Smoke alarms do expire. Eventually, dust from the environment affects their functioning and can block the sensor. Check the outside of the alarm for the manufacturing date and replace at least every ten years—although more often is recommended.

4) Place your alarms correctly.

You will want to have an alarm on every floor of your home as well as additional alarms outside of every bedroom. In addition, place smoke detectors in kitchens or within ten feet of your kitchen, since this room of the house is the one most likely to be the site of a fire.

5) Don’t just rely on smoke detectors.

On their own, working and properly-installed smoke detectors alert you when there’s a fire in your home. The rest, though, is up to you. Even with the best alarms, it’s important to have an escape plan and to conduct fire drills regularly with every person in your household. Make sure there are window ladders on upper floors so people trapped on upper stories can get to safety. Keep fire extinguishers on every floor. Ensure everyone in your family knows to stay low and get out of the house at once if they hear an alarm.

6) Combine your smoke detector with a carbon monoxide detector for added safety.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can kill. It is emitted by fuel-burning appliances, in most cases, and it can be deadly very quickly. While you are updating and checking your smoke detectors, buy, install, or test carbon monoxide detectors as well.

Have you suffered a serious burn injury? Have you been injured by a faulty smoke detector or safety device in your South Florida home? Contact Flaxman Law Group for a free, no obligation consultation. Our team in Miami, Homestead, and Hollywood serves the entire South Florida area and we would be happy to speak with you about your potential case.