20 Days to Ready: Put Detectors on Duty (Day 3)

20 Days to Ready is a series of simple, daily tasks to help you better prepare for emergencies and protect your family when disaster strikes. Follow along, day by day, and you’ll be more ready (for just about anything) in a few short weeks.

ASSIGNMENT: Test Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

One of the best ways to handle an emergency is to be aware of a situation long before it gets out of control. That’s the role smoke and carbon monoxide detectors can help play. With proper placement and maintenance, you’ll have them on the job 24/7 to alert you at the first signs of danger.

Here’s how to do a check:

  • Check that you have enough alarms. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends a smoke alarm on every level of your home, inside each bedroom and outside every sleeping area. For carbon monoxide alarms, the NFPA suggests an alarm on every level of your home and in a central location outside each sleeping area.
  • Check local and state statutes to see if there are laws, codes or standards that require any additional alarm placements.
  • Test your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms by pushing the test button (continue testing them monthly, the NFPA says).
  • Replace the batteries in each alarm if you haven’t done so in the last year.
  • Replace any smoke alarms that are 10 years or older (or sooner if they don’t respond properly, the NFPA says).

Click here to follow along with more “20 Days to Ready” emergency preparedness tasks.

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