From the State Fire Marshal’s Office:
In response to the sudden rise in structure fires throughout the State of Maryland, State Fire Marshal William E. Barnard requests all Marylanders to test and maintain their smoke alarms. “These life saving devices can provide the needed advantage to escape injury and death from the ingredients of fire,” stated Barnard.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 65% of home fire deaths happen in homes with no smoke alarms at all or smoke alarms that do not operate properly.
Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of the home and inside each bedroom. Interconnected smoke alarms with battery back-up operate even during a power outage. The benefit of interconnected smoke alarms is recognized when one smoke alarm activates it will activate all of the alarms, giving you and your family the advantage of escaping a potentially lethal situation.
Follow manufacturer’s instructions on placement of smoke alarms for battery operated units. Alarms that are hard wired must be installed by a qualified electrician.
Replace batteries in all smoke alarms at least once a year. If the alarm “chirps,” warning the battery is low, replace the battery right away. Replace all smoke alarms when they are ten years old or sooner if they do not respond properly when tested.
In addition to smoke alarm maintenance; plan and practice your home fire escape plan, know two ways out of every room and include a specific location outside to meet.