Fire Safety and Prevention

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About Smoke Detectors and Safety 

  • Smoke alarms are an important part of a home fire escape plan.
  • An ionization smoke alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires, and a photoelectric smoke alarm is generally more responsive to smoldering fires. For the best protection, either type of alarm or a combination of alarms (photoelectric and ionization) should be installed in homes.
  • Replace all smoke alarms, including alarms that use 10-year batteries with hard-wired alarms, when they are 10 years old or sooner, if they do not respond properly.
  • Be sure the smoke alarm has the label of a recognized testing laboratory.
  • If cooking fumes or steam sets off nuisance alarms, replace the alarms with an alarm that has a “hush” button. A “hush” button will reduce the alarm’s sensitivity for a short period of time.
  • An ionization alarm with a hush button or a photoelectric alarm should be used if the alarm is within 20 feet of a cooking appliance.
  • Smoke alarms that include a recordable voice announcement in addition to the usual alarm sound, may be helpful in waking children through the use of a familiar voice.
  • Smoke alarms are available for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. These devices use strobe lights. Vibration devices can be added to these alarms.

Installation and Proper Location

  • Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement. Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
  • Smoke rises; install smoke alarms following manufacturer’s instructions high on a wall or on a ceiling. Save manufacturer’s instructions for testing and maintenance.
  • Alarms that are hard-wired (and include battery backup) must be installed by a qualified electrician.


  • Test alarms at least monthly by pushing the test button.
  • Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. If an alarm “chirps,” warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away.

    When available, smoke detectors may be obtained; free of charge, by contacting Larry Knowles to schedule an installation date. These smoke detectors are made available only to residents of Union City on a need basis. For more information, please call (770) 964-2288.