Great Falls Fire Rescue: smoke detectors save lives

Posted at 9:59 AM, Feb 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-20 12:01:54-05

GREAT FALLS — Great Falls Fire Rescue is once again reminding people about the importance of having working smoke detectors in your home.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, nearly 60% of home fire deaths are attributed to fires in properties with no smoke detectors.

Great Falls Fire Rescue Firefighter/EMT Alex Richard said, "Fires always start off just smoking up really good, and if there's anything that kind of helps us get to that fire in that growing stage quicker, it's certainly having a fire detector going off, and alerting us that there's a potential fire happening in the house."

The fire department also encourages people to have a smoke detector in every room, including the garage, basement, and hallways.

"Certainly having multiple smoke detectors is beneficial," Richard said. "Having one in the room, and having some in the hallways, and every single bedroom is beneficial to have."

Research done by the Fire Safety Research Institute has shown that the safety of sleeping with the bedroom doors closed will delay the movement of smoke into the sleeping area. Sleeping in a bedroom with a closed door provides a great deal of protection from a fire.

The NFPA provides the following tips:

  • 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. 
  • Smoke alarms should be interconnected. When one sounds, they all sound. 
  • Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
  • 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.
  • Replace all smoke alarms in your home every 10 years.