Fire Safety & Smoke Detectors
August 1, 1993, the Minnesota Legislature passed a bill requiring smoke detectors in every dwelling in the state. Smoke detectors are life-saving devices, designed to be placed outside the sleeping area of your home.
In addition, the Winona Fire Department recommends a smoke detector be placed on every level of your home to ensure the earliest possible warning in the event of a fire. In order to be effective, smoke detectors must be installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions, they must be tested monthly, and batteries changed annually.
- Consider buying a lithium battery-powered smoke alarm, which may last up to ten years with no battery change.
- Have a working smoke alarm on each level of your home and outside bedrooms.
- Install smoke alarms away from air vents.
- Install smoke alarms on ceiling or wall, at least 4 inches from corners. When affixed to walls, smoke alarms should be between 4 and 12 inches from the ceiling. Never disable or remove smoke alarm batteries.
- Test smoke alarms monthly and change batteries at least once every year.
- Develop a fire escape plan with your household and practice often.
- Know two ways to exit from every room in your home.
- Make sure safety bars on windows can be opened from inside your home.
- Crawl low, under smoke.
- Feel closed doors. If hot, use another exit.
- Identify a place to meet household members outside. Never re-enter a burning building.
- Escape first and then call for emergency assistance.
Fire Safety Walk Through
- Always use a metal mesh screen with fireplaces and leave glass doors open while burning a fire.
- Be sure your stove and small appliances are off before going to bed.
- Check for frayed wires and do not run cords under rugs or furniture.
- Clean the area around the hearth of debris, flammables and decorative materials.
- Have chimneys cleaned and inspected annually by a professional.
- Keep clothes, blankets, curtains and other combustibles at least three feet from space heaters.
- Keep clothes, towels and other combustibles away from stove burners.
- Keep lighters and matches out of the reach of children.
- Never leave cigarettes unattended.
- Never leave cooking unattended.
- Never overload electrical sockets.
- Never smoke in bed.
- Place space heaters where they will not tip over easily.