Every home should have at least one working smoke detector
Oklahoma State Statutes Title 74 Chapter 11 Section 324.11a states that any person, organization or landlord owning a building or structure shall install a smoke detector in accordance with the nationally recognized codes, standards, or practices adopted by the State Fire Marshal Commission.
By the time flames are roaring through a house, it may be too late to stop a fire. Even worse, it may be too late to get you and your family safely out of your burning home. Fires can start and spread rapidly. In as little as 30 seconds, a small flame can get completely out of control and turn into a major fire. It takes less than 2 minutes for a fire to become life-threatening. Within 5 minutes, a house will become completely engulfed in flames.
Two-thirds of reported residential fire deaths occurred in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms and more than half of fatal fires occurred while people were sleeping. Altus Fire Chief Jerry Abbott explains: “The combination of toxic smoke and gases and reduced levels of oxygen in the air can make waking up extremely difficult and in some circumstances, tragically impossible. So, it is essential to install and maintain working smoke alarms that will detect the smoke and sound an alarm.”
Altus Fire/Rescue has developed a program sponsored by the Altus Firefighters Local 2749 that provides and installs smoke detectors to homeowners within the City of Altus, free of charge. For the past 25 years, the Altus Fire Department has installed over 2,500 free smoke detectors. “Our goal is to reduce fire deaths and to educate the public the importance of maintaining a working smoke detector” says Chief Abbott. “The Altus Fire Department is pleased to have received donations earlier this year from JCMH and The Altus Firefighters Local 2749 to ensure this program is ongoing” continues Abbott.
A smoke alarm is an inexpensive protection device that can save lives. Install a smoke alarm on every level of your home. Working smoke alarms can double your chances of survival. Test it monthly, keep it free of dust and replace the battery at least once a year. Smoke alarms themselves should be replaced after ten years of service, or as recommended by the manufacturer. To keep track of when your smoke detector was installed, simply mark the date on the alarm with a permanent marker.