*UPDATED* Works For Me: Smoke Alarms


*UPDATED TO ADD*  Um, sorry about that…forgot the links.  They’re up now. 

I don’t have a particularly cheerful tip this week, but it’s an important one.

A dear friend of mine had a serious house fire last week; the fire started in the attic and, they’ve been told, may have burned for two hours before the family was aware of it. As a result, I’ve been thinking much about my own family’s fire safety situation. 

We’ve always followed recommended guidelines.  We have two smoke alarms on each level of our home; upstairs, the smoke alarms are at either end of the hall.  As I’ve thought about it, though, it has dawned on me that my children sleep with their doors closed.  If there were an attic fire that began over their rooms, or if an electrical appliance in their room were to catch fire, it might take a very long time for the smoke to reach the alarm in the hallway outside.  Quite possibly, by the time the hallway alarm sounded, it would be too late. 

As a result, in addition to the recommended hallway smoke alarms, we have added smoke alarms in each of the kids’ rooms.  They are not expensive–but even if they were, the additional peace of mind would be worth it. 

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57 thoughts on “*UPDATED* Works For Me: Smoke Alarms

  1. Laura says:

    That is a great tip! I have been thinking a lot about fire safety lately myself and trying to ensure that I’ve done all I can to protect my family. Very very scary indeed.

  2. Michelle says:

    That is a good tip, and I’ve been told by fire fighters that it’s much safer to sleep with bedroom doors closed, that that provides a substantial fire and smoke barrier.

  3. proverbs31 says:

    Wow. Thanks for the reminder! We have smoke detectors in every room of the house, but I think half of them need checking or new batteries. That is definitely going on my to-do list for tomorrow!!

  4. Janean says:

    As a foster parent, we were REQUIRED to have a smoke detector in each bedroom. The local fire department has a program where they sell them to you for a discounted price AND the chief came to our house and installed them HIMSELF. VERY cool!
    It might pay (especially if you have to put in several) to check with your city FD to see if they have a similar program!

  5. Deanne says:

    Good thinking there – we have one in our apartment (our floorplan layout is such that one is sufficient) but I was reading an article in our local newspaper (I think it was) that said that children are likely to sleep through the alarms – so I’d recommend (in all my non-expertise) that if your children do sleep with their doors closed, that maybe it’d be a good idea to go through the hall after they are all asleep and open their doors just a crack, if not more. That way, if their alarm would happen to go off and they would sleep through it, then you would increase your chances of waking to the sound of their smoke alarm. Just a thought.
    Oh, and my link for WFMW is:
    It’s for dealing with gaming/console clutter.

  6. Nettie says:

    We put them in all the bedrooms, as well. Also, I had a fire marshall inspection once for licensing and was told that with my wood floors on the main floor of our home, that should a fire break out in the basement, the wood floor would be engulfed in flames before it triggered the smoke alarms on the third floor. So, we wired together the alarms so that should the basement one sound, the top floor would sound, as well. Giving us much more time to escape. Scary stuff.
    My WFMW tip is up, too. About toddler puzzle/book storage:

  7. Michelle says:

    We recently had all of our smoke detectors go off in our home while everybody but me(5 other people) were sleeping, and nobody woke up! We are in the process of adding smoke detectors to each bedroom in the hopes that nobody will be able to sleep through it the next time. I was amazed that with all that noise, I still had to wake people up. Thankfully, it ened up that there wasn’t a fire, though a diode in the actual smoke detector had failed, causing it to get hot enough to blacken the plastic. How about that? A smoke detector causing a “fire”.
    With no Mr. Linky, I will post my submission here for my idea about cleaning the refrigerator http://www.northofthe49.com/blog/?p=69

  8. Overwhelmed! says:

    By the way, thanks for the reminder about fire alarms in the children’s room. I’ve been after Oronzo to get one in Snuggle Bug’s room and he hasn’t done it yet. I’ll get on him!
    Oh, and I love your holiday blog design! Very nice!

  9. Amanda says:

    This is my first time commenting on your site. I love all the great tips and advice that I find! I would like to add something to your WFMW tip, if that’s ok. It is so important to be prepared for a fire. But recently I discovered that my children slept through two different hotel fire alarms. That scared me pretty badly because those alarms were LOUD. I had heard about a special fire alarm (the Kidsmart vocal smoke detector) that Moms could record their voice on to alert their children, since most kids will wake up to their mothers voice instead of a beeping alarm. We purchased two of these on overstock.com. And I recently wrote about this same experience on my blog. You can visit it here:http://swartzfamily.blogspot.com/2006/11/attention-attention.html
    Shannon, thanks for all the hard work you do putting this all together. I’ve enjoyed it so much!

  10. DivaP says:

    Great reminder on home safety! We can never be too careful about keeping our family safe.
    We have Christmas cookie recipes up this week. Come share your favorite recipes!

  11. Jaime says:

    Great tip on fire alarms. I’ve been thinking about this one alot lately, especially since we have a wood burning furnace downstairs.
    Like another commenter, I am still way stuck in Christmas this week. I loved my Christmas Scripture Study so much, I’m sharing it with everyone.

  12. Barbara H. says:

    That’s a great tip. I think we have one upstairs in the hallway as well as the other levels, but, you’re right — a fire could start from somewhere else and be a problem before reaching that alarm. I’m thinking it might be good to put one in the attic, too — true, we wouldn’t hear it as easily as the one in the hallway, but it might be enough to draw our attention if a fire started there before it got to the rest of the house.

  13. Mrs. C says:

    Thank you for reminding us about the importance of smoke detectors.
    Don’t forget to have working fire extinguishers in your home, too.

  14. Julie says:

    It’s also not a bad idea to make sure your neighbors have your cell phone numbers in case your house were to catch fire while you were gone. This happened to my parents and my neighbors were able to call them so they could come back home.

  15. An Ordinary Mom says:

    This was a very helpful reminder. Thanks. I hope your friend and her family are OK and are still able to have a good holiday season.
    And everyone, don’t forget to VOTE today for Shannon!

  16. Sharon says:

    That is a great idea for smoke detectors. Sorry I didn’t put your logo on my website. I can’t figure out how to do it 😦
    Blogger wasn’t giving me the right kind of help.

  17. Beth says:

    Hey, Shannon. Just stopping by to throw out my two cents this week for WFMW. And, to tell ya I’m still plugging for ya’ in my posts for votes! LOL

  18. Q&Q says:

    Great tip. We only have one smoke detector now but one in each bedroom would be a good idea.
    My WFMW tip is an easy way to make a fancy design for your homemade cards. My aunt made one this weekend using the shredder! Pretty cool!

  19. Southern Girl says:

    I’m glad someone mentioned the smoke detectors that use a voice instead of the beep — I was going to bring it up myself. Our local news did a story on how lots of children won’t wake up to the beeping, but if they hear a parent’s voice, that rouses them. One of the news anchors tried it on his two little boys, and something like 9 times out of 10, they slept right through the beeping alarm, but only one out of ten times did they sleep through the alarm that had his voice telling them to get up and get out of the house. Pretty interesting.
    I’m dipping my toes into the WFMW waters for the first time with a tip on wound care. As I say in my first paragraph, it might be my last time, too. 😉

  20. Rachel says:

    That’s a great tip about the smoke alarms in the kids’ rooms. I have to look into the whole voice alarm – sounds like a great idea!

  21. Kathleen Marie says:

    When we built our new home we put a fire detector alarm in each bedroom,…well in almost every room. Since we have two fireplaces we felt it a must. We had friends who had a dryer fire that destroyed there home so put one in the laundry room and hubby makes sure we vacuum the back of the dryer, clean the lint… We also always did a family fire drill. Excellent WFMW tip Shannon!

  22. Heather says:

    Great idea! My boys are little and won’t sleep with doors closed, but a good idea. There is also a new kind of alarm that uses Mom or Dad’s voice and has been proven to be more effective at waking kids up than the loud beeping of traditional alarms. Thanks for the tip and thanks for hosting!

  23. Katherine @ Raising Five says:

    I’m just always amazed at the incredible participation you have here! So awesome. My kids sleep with doors open but I still think it would be a great idea to have alarms in bedrooms. Great reminder – hope you have a great day!

  24. Chelsea says:

    We’ve been working on a house renovation, so we’ve taken everything up to the current code. Ours are all wired in the house, and they have battery backups. If one goes off, they all do.
    Don’t forget your carbon monoxide tester too! Those are equally important, and you generally only need one in the house.

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