Smoke detectors save lives! Do you have them? Are they in the best locations? Are they working properly?
Battery-powered smoke alarms will usually begin to “beep” or “chirp” when the battery is getting low, to warn that it’s time for a replacement. What if your alarm begins to make a noise you don’t recognize or are unsure of? Does the battery need to be replaced? Is the smoke detector malfunctioning? You can call 911 and speak to the dispatcher, who will help you sort out what is happening and can send assistance as necessary.
Montgomery County Fire Rescue Services (MCFRS) wants to ensure that all homes are fire safe with working smoke alarms. Any resident can request a free home evaluation – go to http://www.weblinksa2z.com/mcfrs/firesafety/ and click on the link saying “To request a home safety visit, click here.” Or call 311 or 240-777-0311.
MCFRS will reply within 5 days to schedule a walk-through of the private residence and to answer questions about fire safety. MCFRS may also provide assistance with the installation of smoke alarms or batteries during the visit.
As of 2018, the County requires that all battery operated smoke alarms have 10-year batteries.
Maryland is the most recent state to require that homeowners:
1. Replace battery-only operated smoke alarms with units powered by sealedin, ten-year/long-life batteries with a “silence/hush” feature.
2. Upgrade smoke alarm placement in existing residential occupancies to comply with minimum specified standards. These standards vary according to when the building was constructed. The deadline for compliance with the new law is January 1, 2018.
Another recommendation from the MCFRS: Fill out a “File of Life” and keep it on your refrigerator for use by fire and rescue personnel. The File of Life consolidates basic health information such as medical history, allergies, medications, and other health-related topics in one place. For a free information form and magnetized sleeve, contact the Aging and Disability Resource Unit at 240-777-3000.
Remember – if your smoke alarm goes off, get to safety and call 911!