Huntersville Fire Department
 

SMOKE ALARMS

Smoke alarms that are properly installed and maintained play a vital role in reducing fire deaths and injuries. According to the National Fire Protection Association, having a working smoke alarm cuts the chances of dying in a reported fire in half.

  • Almost two-thirds of home fire deaths in 2005-2009 resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms (according to NFPA)
  • When smoke alarms fail to operate, it is usually because batteries are missing, disconnected or dead.  Almost one-quarter of the smoke alarm failures was due to dead batteries.
  • Smoke Alarms should be checked every month using the test button to ensure the batteries are still good and the alarm is operating.
  • It is recommended that batteries be changed at least once a year, a good practice is to change your batteries whenever you set your clocks during daylight savings time.
  • It is recommended to install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. For BEST protection - Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all will sound.
  • All smoke alarms should be replaced when they are 10 yrs old. Each alarm should have a manufacturer date stamped on the bottom of the alarm, be sure to check your alarm and know how old it is.

NFPA Home Smoke Alarm Basics Video

NFPA Smoke Alarm Safety Tips


ESCAPE PLAN

According to the NFPA, in 2010, there were an estimated 369,500 reported home structure fires and 2,640 associated civilian deaths in the United States.

Fire can spread rapidly through your home, leaving you as little as two minutes to escape safely once the alarm sounds. Your ability to get out depends on advance warning from smoke alarms and advance planning — a home fire escape plan that everyone in your family is familiar with and has practiced.

  • Only one-fifth to one-fourth of households (23%) have actually developed and practiced a home fire escape plan to ensure they could escape quickly and safely.
  • One-third of American households who made an estimate thought they would have at least 6 minutes before a fire in their home would become life-threatening. The time available is often less. And only 8% said their first thought on hearing a smoke alarm would be to get out!
  • Draw a home escape plan and discuss it with everyone in your household
  • Practice the plan night and day with everyone in your home twice a year
  • Know at least TWO ways out of EVERY room, if possible. Make sure all doors and windows leading outside open easily.

NFPA Escape Planning Tips


CARBON MONOXIDE

Hidden Dangers of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

·         Headache

·         Dizziness

·         Irritability

·         Confusion/Memory loss

·         Disorientation

·         Nausea and vomiting

·         Abnormal reflexes

·         Difficulty in coordinating

·         Difficulty in breathing

·         Chest Pain

·         Cerebral Edema

·         Convulsions/Seizures

·         Coma

·         Death

 

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

Often, several members of the same family or those in a given building will complain of the same symptoms. Children are thought to be more susceptible to carbon monoxide poisoning than adults. Some people may not suspect that CO poisoning is occurring until major symptoms appear. Carbon Monoxide poisoning can mimic gastroenteritis (nausea and vomiting). Other manifestations may cause the appearance of what may appear to be a neurological or psychiatric disorder. High risk groups include infants, the elderly, pregnant women, and anyone with a previous history of cardiac insufficiency or chronic obstructive lung disease.

MEDICAL CONSEQUENCES

Cerebral edema (swelling of the brain) is also a common result of severe carbon monoxide poisoning. This life threatening condition entails the destruction of brain cells by compressing them into themselves within the cranial compartment. Drugs that are normally used for the treatment of cerebral edema, like Dexamethasone and Mannitol, do not seem to be of assistance in the treatment of CO induced cerebral edema. Studies have shown that cerebral edema caused by CO poisoning can cause delayed neurological problems that involve the "higher" or cognitive functions, and may cause a Parkinsonian-like brain syndrome.

TREATMENT

Move to fresh air, this will only relieve immediate symptoms of acute poisoning, remember if you have chronic poisoning that is low level and that has gone on for some time your deteriation may be gradual so it could be some time before you notice. 

Activate the Fire/Emergency Medical Service System (911 – here in Huntersville), if you are experiencing any symptoms, the fire department and Medic will respond and ventilate the house and will assess / treat you for exposure.

NFPA CARBON MONOXIDE SAFETY

CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS

PLACEMENT OF CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS