Smoke Alarms Save Lives
By Vice President / Lieutenant Scot Best
March 2, 2023

Smoke alarms are a key part of a home fire escape plan. Smoke alarms that are properly installed and maintained play a vital role in reducing fire deaths and injuries. When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast. Working smoke alarms give you an early warning so you can get outside quickly.

Here's what you need to know:
• A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate sleeping area.
• Install alarms on every level of the home, including the basement. Larger homes may require additional smoke alarms to provide a minimum level of protection.
• Smoke alarms should be interconnected, when possible. When one sounds, they all sound.
• Test your smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
• Today’s smoke alarms will be more technologically advanced to respond to a multitude of fire conditions, yet mitigate false alarms.
• When a smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside.
• For smoke alarms that don’t have non-replaceable (long-life) batteries, replace batteries twice a year (“Change your clock, change your battery”). If the alarm chirps, replace only the battery.
• Replace all smoke alarms in your home 10 years from date of manufacture.

Facts and figures about smoke alarms from the NFPA:
• Almost three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms (40%) or no working smoke alarms (17%).
• No smoke alarms were present in two out of every five (40%) home fire deaths.
• The death rate per 1,000 reported home fires was more than twice as high in homes that did not have any working smoke alarms compared to the rate in homes with working smoke alarms (12.3 deaths vs. 5.7 deaths per 1,000 fires).
• In fires in which the smoke alarms were present but did not operate, more than two of every five (43%) of the smoke alarms had missing or disconnected batteries.
• Dead batteries caused one-quarter (25%) of the smoke alarm failures.

**If you cannot afford to purchase smoke alarms or are physically unable to install a smoke alarm, the Ridge VFD can help! We would like to ensure every home in our coverage area has working smoke alarms. We will come visit your home and conduct a FREE Fire Safety Inspection and while we are there, we can install a free smoke alarm(s) in your home.

If your home does not have a working alarm, or the existing alarm is more than 10 years old, please contact us to request a FREE home Fire Safety Inspection, and to receive smoke alarm(s) installation. You can email ( or call us directly (301-872-5571).