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West Virginia Fire Safety Resource

e-Guide Index: - Smoke Alarms:
The Importance of Smoke Alarms > It's the Law > Installing Smoke Alarms > Using a Smoke Alarm

Using a Smoke Alarm

During the fiscal year ending June 30, 2008, it was reported that 11 percent of installed smoke alarms in structural fires in West Virginia failed to operate.

Take care of your smoke alarm.

Test Your Smoke Alarm

Once a month, test your smoke alarm(s). [Check the manufacturers instructions for information on testing your smoke alarm.]

Nuisance Alarm - Don't Remove the Battery

Hint: Smoke alarms that may be placed too close to the stove will sound from smoke or fumes generated from cooking, especially when frying. If this happens, do NOT remove the battery.

Battery Operated Smoke Alarms

Hint: Most smoke alarms warn you if the battery is running down by making a chirping or other low intermittent sound.

Replace your Smoke Alarms

The United States Fire Administration recommends that all smoke alarms over 10 years old be replaced.

Clean Smoke Alarms

Clean the outside only of a smoke alarm by gently going over the cover with the brush attachment of your vacuum cleaner.

Paint and your Smoke Alarm

Never paint a smoke alarm.

Getting Help

Local Center for Independent Living

If you need help with home assessment for fire safety, for further resources related to smoke alarms and other special needs equipment available for people with disabilities, contact your local Center for Independent Living.

Local Fire Department

If you still need help, contact your local fire department and ask them if they can do a home fire safety assessment and check your smoke alarms.

> > Next: Home Escape Planning

Mountain State Centers for Independent Living