Brentwood Fire Department
Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
Smoke alarms save lives by providing early detection and warning of a fire. Did you know that on average, fire doubles in size every minute? Combine that with everyday household items like furniture and construction innovation, and your firefighters face an enormous challenge referred to as time. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), between 2012-2016, smoke alarms were present in three quarters and sounded in fifty percent of residential fires reported in the United States. Conversely, the NFPA also reported that three out every five fatal homes fires did not have smoke alarms during the 2012-2016 time span. New Hampshire has a more frightening trend. In an awareness promotion, New Hampshire Fire Marshal Paul Parisi released that as of October 4, 2020, all the fatal homes fires in the State (in 2020); none had confirmed working smoke alarms. Please, if you do not have smoke alarms, install them in your home. If you have smoke alarms, please ensure they work by testing each one and change the batteries when you adjust your clocks twice a year.
Another danger lurks that can be more deadly then smoke. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas created during improper combustion. Fuels used for heat, including wood, oil, propane, and coal, emit carbon monoxide. People at high risk for carbon monoxide poisoning, even at low concentrations, include infants, anyone with breathing problems, heart conditions, and pregnancy. In 2017, 399 people died from unintentional carbon monoxide exposure, according to the Center for Disease Control. Symptoms of carbon monoxide are often mild and confused with the flu. In more extreme cases, death can result.
Let us take this opportunity to remind you to have your heating system cleaned yearly by a professional. Do not run a vehicle (or any internal combustion engine) in a garage. Vehicles produce an extraordinary amount of carbon monoxide in a short time. Did you know that carbon monoxide can kill a person in as little as 1-3 minutes in some instances? If you have a portable generator, do not run them in a garage. Only run a portable generator in a well-ventilated area at least ten feet from your home.
Install carbon monoxide alarms on each floor of your home, and like your smoke alarms, ensure they stay in working order and change the batteries simultaneously with your smoke alarms. If your smoke alarm or carbon monoxide alarm sound, please immediately evacuate your home and call 911. If you have questions about smoke alarms or carbon monoxide alarms, please contact the Brentwood Fire Department at 642-8132.