Smoke detector maker First Alert is offering these home safety tips:
Practice a fire escape plan. According to a recent study conducted by First Alert, only 43 percent of Americans report having a home escape plan in place. However, only a quarter (26 percent) have ever practiced it. After planning an emergency escape route, practice it at least twice a year.
Test alarms to ensure they are in proper working condition. All alarms – regardless of the power source – should be tested monthly.
Equip your home with the recommended number of smoke and CO alarms. The National Fire Protection Association suggests having at least one carbon monoxide (CO) alarm on each level, including the basement, and one in or near every bedroom. For smoke alarms, homes should have one installed on every level of the home and inside each bedroom.
Update alarms. If you don't know how old an alarm is, the safest bet is to replace it immediately, as all alarms expire beyond 10 years. Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years, while most CO alarms should be replaced every five to seven years (some new CO alarms are tested to last 10 years).
Dust off alarms periodically to maintain a clear pathway for detection.
First Alert provides a legislation map on its website that provides state-by-state information on smoke and CO laws in place throughout the country. For more information on fire and carbon monoxide safety, visit www.firstalert.com.