Test your knowledge on
Protect yourself and your family...
85 % of all fire deaths and injuries occur in homes where there are no working
smoke alarms. Remember, only a working smoke alarm can save your life!
Most fatal fires occur at night when people are asleep. Often, victims
never wake up. A working smoke alarm will alert you, giving you precious
time to escape.
What is the best type of Alarm to buy?
Smoke alarms have many different features. They can be electrically
connected, battery powered, or both. The pause feature to reduce nuisance
alarms is recommended.
Where to install Smoke Alarms...
Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, near sleeping areas.
Because smoke rises, they should be placed on or near the ceiling, according
to your user's manual. Try to avoid areas such as bathrooms, heating appliances,
windows or close to ceiling fans.
Why does my Smoke Alarm beep?
An intermittent beeping means that the battery needs replacing immediately.
Don't wait this long. Replace the battery in all of your smoke alarms
at least twice a year. Use special dates, for example, when you change your
Smoke Alarm care...
Follow the manufacturer's directions. Test your alarm weekly by pressing
the test button. Once a month test your alarms using smoke from a smoldering
string. Dust can clog a smoke alarm, so every six months, carefully vacuum
inside the power unit according to manufacturer's instructions.
Smoke Alarms do not last forever...
Replace smoke alarms that are over ten years old. Replace smoke alarms
that fail the above tests or that malfunction in any way.
Plan your escape!
Make sure that everyone knows what the smoke alarm sounds like and that
they know what to do when they hear it. Know two ways out of every room
in your house and have a pre-arranged meeting place outside. Once out,
stay out and call the fire department from a neighbor's house. Tell them
your name, address, telephone number.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
What is carbon monoxide?
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless and deadly gas. It is
almost the same density of air, not heavier nor lighter, so it mixes freely
with it. Because you can't see, taste or smell it, carbon monoxide can
kill you before you know it's there. CO is inhaled and bonds with the
hemoglobin in your blood, displacing the oxygen you need. It will eventually
displace enough to suffocate you from the inside out, resulting in death or
Where does Carbon Monoxide come from?
It is a by-product of anything that burns. It comes from gas or oil
fired appliances such as furnaces, dryers, stoves, water heaters, and barbecues.
It can also come from wood burning stoves, fireplaces, and automobile engines.
About 50% of all reported cases of carbon monoxide poisoning are caused by
defective heating systems.
What are the symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning?
Symptoms can be mistaken for those accompanying the flu. They may
include headache, fatigue, nausea, dizzy spells, and confusion. If you
feel better after being away from the house for a period of time, you could
be suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Medical studies have determined that a high percentage of the population
is particularly vulnerable to CO, including low levels over longer periods of
time. This high-risk group includes fetuses, children, the elderly, and those
with heart and lung disorders.
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, carbon monoxide
poisoning is the leading cause of accidental poisoning death in the U.S., responsible
for 1,500 accidental deaths and 10,000 illnesses annually.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
CO detectors are now widely available in battery or plug in types. Follow
the manufacturer's instructions and place it near the sleeping area.
Less than 18% of U.S. households have a carbon monoxide detector.
For more information please contact your local fire department.
Fire Safety in High Rise Buildings
High rise apartment buildings are generally referred to as those that exceed
6 stories in height. These buildings are considered to be safer from the
spread of fire than the average single family dwelling. However, it is
a fact that residents of these buildings are generally unfamiliar with the built-in
"safety features" of this type of construction, and what actions to take in
case of fire.
Built-in Safety Features of High Rise Apartments:
Fire Resistive Construction
High rise apartment buildings in New Jersey are designed for fire safety and
are typically constructed of non-combustible materials. Fire resistive
walls and floors separate all apartments from one another. Consequently,
they are quite safe from the danger of fire spread from one apartment to another.
Fire Alarm System
Many of these buildings contain a fire alarm system that will alert the entire
building when activated.
Interior Fire Escape Stairways
The fire resistive stairways in these buildings are for escape purposes.
Illuminated exit signs typically mark exit stairways on each floor. To preserve
the safety of these escape stairs, the doors to them Must Remain Closed at All
Interior Water Supplies For Fire Fighting
These buildings contain interior water supplies and hose lines on each floor
for the use of the fire department. The building's water supply can be
supplemented by the outside fire department connection.
In Case Of Fire in Your Apartment or Office...
Alert other occupants in your apartment or office and leave the fire area
Close the door to the suite as you leave. This will help to contain
Activate the fire alarm pull station in the corridor.
Exit the building using the nearest stairwell, making sure that the door
closes behind you to prevent the spread of smoke and heat into the stairwell.
Once outside, call the local fire department and give your name, building
address and exact location of the fire.
Once out, stay out until instructed by authorities that it is safe to return
to your suite.
When You Hear the Fire Alarm Sound...
Alert all the other occupants of your apartment. Never assume that
it is a false alarm.
Feel your suite door and handle with the back of your hand before opening.
If the door feels warm, fire and smoke could be on the other side.
If door is not warm, brace yourself against the door and open it carefully
to check conditions in the corridors.
If the corridor is clear, move quickly to your nearest exit stairwell, closing
all doors as you leave.
Take your keys with you or leave your suite unlocked in case you are forced
to return to your apartment.
Open the stairwell door carefully and if stairwell is clear, exit the building.
Once outside stay out until instructed that it is safe to return to your
If You Encounter Heat or Smoke...
If you encounter smoke in the corridor, crawl low under the smoke and return
to your suite. Never walk through smoke and heat.
If you encounter smoke in the stairwell, leave the stairwell immediately.
Proceed to alternative stairwell, and check for smoke. If stairwell
is clear, exit the building.
If smoke is present in the second stairwell, leave the stairwell, return
to your suite if possible, or seek refuge in another suite or smoke free area.
Do not go to the roof. Doors or hatches leading to the roof will be
locked. Smoke and heat entering a stairwell will usually rise to the top of
Remaining in Your Apartment or Office...
If you must remain in or return to your suite, prevent smoke from entering.
Use tape or wet towels to seal all cracks around doors.
Use cardboard, tape or plastic bags to seal vents or ducts in kitchen and
bathrooms to prevent smoke from entering your apartment.
Telephone the fire department and give your exact location.
If smoke enters your apartment, move to the balcony or most protected smoke
free room. Seal the room with sheets or towels as before and await rescue.
Open a window for fresh air if required. Be prepared to close the window
if smoke enters from the outside. If the window does not open, break it
only as a last resort.
If smoke starts to seep into the room, make a smoke tent by holding a sheet
around your head and body and lean out the window. You may also cover
your mouth and nose with a damp cloth.
Remain calm and listen for any instructions that may be given by the authorities
using public address systems or loudspeakers.
Don't Give Fire a Place to Start!
Observe safe smoking rules. Use deep ashtrays and make sure all smoking
materials have been completely extinguished.
Do not smoke in elevators.
Practice safe cooking habits.
Eliminate unsafe electrical conditions.
Practice good housekeeping at all times.
All residents should familiarize themselves with the building. Walk down
the stairway to become familiar with it.
Know the location of all the exits, the location of the fire alarm stations
and all the fire safety equipment.
Be sure you know your correct address.
Be sure your address is clearly posted on your residence and ensure that
it will be visible during periods of daylight and at nighttime
For more information on fire safety, contact your local fire department.
In the Greater Delaware Valley Dial 9-1-1