FLOYDS KNOBS, Ind. (WAVE) - You can help save your life where there’s a fire and it starts with the basics. Broken smoke alarms will increase your chances of not making it out alive from a fire.
A recent study from the National Fire Protect Association shows there were no working smoke alarms in 40 percent of home fire deaths.
When your smoke alarm accidentally goes off, it’s not a soft punch on your ears. Many may turn it off or remove the battery to save your ear drums. Others haven’t even glanced at their detectors in years.
Sergeant Ryan Houchen says the combination of no alarm, lack of time and fire can turn deadly.
"Smoke detectors need to be checked monthly,” Houchen said.
We did some research with the Lafayette Township Fire Protection and found the National Fire Protection Association found 40 percent of fatal house fires were in homes with no working smoke alarms, 17 percent had alarms but they weren’t working.
"The manufacturing date is located on this smoke detector,” Houchen said.
Check the back of your alarm and add ten years to the date on the back. If you’re in that window, it’s time for a change.
Houchen said the prime spots to place alarms are 4 inches from ceilings and corners. There are also alarms catered to children.
“Some studies show children don’t react to smoke alarms,” Houchen said. “They react better to voices.” Houchen said there are alarms that let you record your voice to help alert your child when it’s time to get out.
Since January the Fire Administration said there were 12 fatal home fires in Kentucky and five in Indiana. One of those victims was a 65-year-old woman in Houchen’s Floyds Knobs district. All of her smoke detectors were pulled down and not connected.
Houchen says working detectors could have saved her life.
Statistics say your 50 percent less likely to die in a house fire with working alarms. “If you don’t have working smoke detectors in your home many of our local fire department will provide you with a free one and install it for you.”