South County Fire, Red Cross and Gibby Home Fire Prevention teamed up to install 40 smoke alarms in 15 units at the Carmel Condominiums in Edmonds on Wednesday.
The installation comes in the wake of an Oct. 8 fire in the building that caused more than $50,000 damage to one condominium unit. No one was injured, but two women were displaced by the fire.
At a follow-up meeting with the condominium owners association to discuss fire safety and prevention, firefighters identified a need for smoke alarms at the Carmel. “Some residents did not have any smoke alarms. Others had alarms that were outdated and not reliable,” said Assistant Chief of Fire Prevention Kevin Zweber. “This is an older building with an older population. We want to make sure everyone here has working smoke alarms to provide the early warning needed to escape a fire.”
In addition to installing smoke alarms, firefighters and volunteers helped residents develop fire escape plans. “Today’s fires burn faster than ever so you need to be ready to act quickly when your smoke alarm sounds. That means planning and regularly practicing how you will escape,” Zweber said.
South County Fire offers these recommendations for equipping your home with smoke alarms:
- Replace smoke alarms that are more than 10 years old. Aging smoke alarms are unreliable and often are the source of nuisance alarms.
- Install smoke alarms in every bedroom. They should also be outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home. Install alarms in the basement. Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
- Test all smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
- Replace your smoke alarm battery every six months unless otherwise noted by the manufacturer. Follow manufacturer instructions for smoke alarm maintenance.
- A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or high on a wall. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. They should be at least 10 feet from the stove.
- People with impaired hearing can use special alarms. These alarms have strobe lights and bed shakers.