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City of Lake Worth Fire Department
3801 Firehall Drive
Lake Worth, Texas 76135
Phone: 817-237-7461 Fax: 817-237-0663
Smoke Alarms and Detectors
The Lake Worth Fire Department will install a Smoke Alarm FREE inside your home if you are a City of Lake Worth or Lakeside resident.
Smoke detectors are devices that are mounted on the wall or ceiling and automatically sound a warning when they sense smoke or other
products of combustion. When people are warned early enough about a fire, they can escape before it spreads. Prices start at about $6 and up.
Every year thousands of people die from fires in the home. Fire kills an estimated 4,000 Americans every year. Another 30,000 people are seriously
injured by fire each year. Property damage from fire costs us at least $11.2 billion yearly. Most fire victims feel that fire would "never happen to them."
Although we like to feel safe at home, about two-thirds of our nation's fire deaths happen in the victim's own home. The home is where we are at the
greatest risk and where we must take the most precautions. Most deaths occur from inhaling smoke or poisonous gases, not from the flames.
Most fatal fires occur in residential buildings between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. when occupants are more likely to be asleep. More than 90 percent of fire
deaths in buildings occur in residential dwellings.
A Johns Hopkins University study, funded by the United States Fire Administration, found that 75 percent of residential fire deaths and 84 percent of
residential fire injuries could have been prevented by smoke detectors.
There are two basic type of smoke detectors:
1. Ionization detectors - Ionization detectors contain radioactive material that ionizes the air, making an electrical path. When smoke enters, the smoke molecules attach themselves to the ions. The change in electric current flow triggers the alarm. The radioactive material is called americium. It's a radioactive metallic element produced by bombardment of plutonium with high energy neutrons. The amount is very small and not harmful.
2. Photo-electric detectors - These type of detectors contain a light source (usually a bulb) and a photocell, which is activated by light. Light from the bulb reflects off the smoke particles and is directed towards the photocell. The photocell then is activated to trigger the alarm.
Choosing a smoke detector.
When choosing a smoke detector, there are several things to consider. Think about which areas of the house you want to protect, where fire would be
most dangerous, how many you will need, etc.
The Lake Worth Fire Department recommends that every home have a smoke detector outside each sleeping area (inside as well if members of the household
sleep with the door closed) and on every level of the home, including the basement. The National Fire Alarm code requires a smoke detector inside each
sleeping area for new construction. On floors without bedrooms, detectors should be installed in or near living areas, such as dens, living rooms or family rooms.
Smoke detectors are not recommended for kitchens.
The safest bet is to have both kinds or a combination detector with a battery back up. Be sure to check for a testing laboratory label on the detector. It means
that samples of that particular model have been tested under operating conditions. Check to see if it is easy to maintain and clean. Be sure bulbs and batteries
are easy to purchase and convenient to install.
The placement of smoke detectors is very important. Sleeping areas need the most protection. One detector in a short hallway outside the bedroom area is
usually adequate. Hallways longer than 30 feet should have one at each end. For maximum protection, install a detector in each bedroom.
Be sure to keep the detector away from fireplaces and wood stoves to avoid false alarms. Place smoke detectors at the top of each stairwell and at the end
of each long hallway. Smoke rises easily through stairwells. If you should put a smoke detector in your kitchen, be sure to keep it away from cooking fumes
or smoking areas.
Proper mounting of a smoke detector also is important. You can mount many detectors by yourself, but those connected to your household wiring should
have their own separate circuit and be installed by a professional electrician. If you mount your detector on the ceiling, be sure to keep it at least 18 inches
away from dead air space near walls and corners. If you mount it on the wall, place it six to 12 inches below the ceiling and away from corners. Keep them high
because smoke rises.
Never place them any closer than three feet from an air register that might recirculate smoke. Don't place them near doorways or windows where drafts could
impair the detector operation. Don't place them on an uninsulated exterior wall or ceiling. Temperature extremes can affect the batteries.
Keeping smoke detectors in good condition is easy. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions. Be sure to replace the batteries every year or as needed.
Most models will make a chirping, popping or beeping sound when the battery is losing its charge. When this sound is heard, install a fresh battery, preferably
an alkaline type.
Check the smoke detector every 30 days by releasing smoke or pushing the test button. Clean the detector face and grillwork often to remove dust and grease.
Never paint a smoke detector as it will hamper its function. Check your detector if you've been away from home.
If you're looking for a novel gift for somebody, consider giving them a smoke detector. It's an interesting gift that can save lives and it shows that you care.
Lake Worth City Hall
3805 Adam Grubb
Lake Worth, TX 76135
8:00 am to 5:00 pm
Monday through Friday
Copyright © 2016 - Lake Worth, Texas. USA