Last Updated: 07/07/2017

Ridge Fire Company - Smoke Detector Program

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{Click to hear smoke detector}

  Every year people die needlessly in house fires because they have no working smoke detectors. According to USFA (U.S. Fire Administration) article from 12/2006, fire departments responded to 388,500 home structure fires in the United States that claimed the lives of 3,145 people. The article goes on to say that while working Smoke Detectors are proven to save lives, 49% of households, over 4 million, still do NOT have Smoke Detectors!! Of the ones that DO have Smoke Detectors, 20% have non working detectors due to dead or missing batteries.

  Smoke detectors provide an early warning of the fire BEFORE it spreads too far. Having this early warning AND an escape plan that is practised provide the best chance of surviving a house fire.

  But this all starts with have working smoke detectors!! The batteries need to be changed twice a year. The easiest way to remember is that when the clocks are changed for Day Light Saving Time in Spring {March} and back to Eastern Standard Time {in our area} in Fall {November} you should change the batteries!! The Smoke Detector needs to be tested once a month by pressing the test button!!

  Often we get the question, "What smoke detector should I get?" While we can NOT recommend brands we CAN give you guidelines. First, make sure that they are Underwriters Laboratories UL 217 rated {Edition 8 10/30/2015}. That was ANSI Last Approved: 10/30/2015. That rating is the MINIMUM standard that a smoke detector should have! Further, there are two (2) types of fires. Fast, low smoke, and slow, smokey fires. This is important when deciding on a smoke detector as there are two types of smoke detectors. One type is an ionization, which reactes fastest to a fast, low smoke fire. The other is a photoelectric, which reactes fastest to a smokey fire. While having a, working, smoke detector is VERY important, if you can afford, you should have either one of each or one that combines both. At least have one outside the bedrooms.

  Smoke detectors need to be replaced ten (10) years from "DATE OF MANUFACTURE"!. NOT from when you purchase or install!. If the detector has NO "DATE OF MANUFACTURE", throw it away!! The failure rate of the smoke detector starts to rise after ten (10) years from when it was made!

  To further protect your family, add a CO {Carbon Monoxide} detector, at least one (1) outside the bedrooms! This is VERY important if you have a fire place, wood stove, have kerosene, oil, coal, gas, etc. furnace, or use non-electric space heaters. A real danger is CO Poisoning! {CO Poisoning Article on Wikipedia} Make sure that they are Underwriters Laboratories UL 2034 rated. That rating is the MINIMUM standard that a CO detector should have!

Links re Smoke Detectors

National Fire Protection Association {NFPA} Consumer Safety Information re Smoke Detectors(Alarms)

wikiHow - How to Test a Smoke Detector

DUMMIES.COM - How to Test Smoke Alarms in Your Home

Links re Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detectors

National Fire Protection Association {NFPA} Consumer Safety Information re Carbon Monoxide (CO)

The Ridge Fire Company started a Smoke Detector program 11/2007. Working in conjunction with Lowe’s Home Improvement of Pottstown, PA (610)427-6000, we are making free Smoke Detectors available to people who qualify. These are meant for people with low income, elderly, disabled, etc. If you know, or are, a person who might qualify please contact Ridge Fire Company at;

Ridge Fire Company
Attn: Smoke Detector Coordinator
480 Ridge Road
Spring City, PA
(610)495-6063 Phone
(610)495-5106 Fax

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