McLeod Safe Kids Pee Dee/Coastal: The Importance of Smoke Alarms


Residential fires can start and spread rapidly. Every day, at least one child dies from a home fire and every hour approximately 14 children are injured from fires or burns. Ninety percent of all fire-related deaths are due to home fires, which spread quickly and can leave families as little as two minutes to escape once an alarm sounds.

McLeod Safe Kids Pee Dee/Coastal reminds families to take caution during Residential Fire Safety Month (October) as well as year-round. The organization offers the following safety tips to reduce the risk for serious injury and death involving residential fires:

Never play with matches, gasoline, lighters, or any other flammable materials.Make sure you have smoke alarms in your home on every level and in every sleeping area. Test them once a month, replace the batteries at least once a year (unless the batteries are designed for longer life), and replace the alarms every 10 years. Ten year lithium alarms are also available and do not require an annual battery change.Know the different types of fire alarms. For the best protection against different types of fires, consider installing both ionization alarms (better at sensing flaming fires) and photoelectric alarms (better at sensing slow, smoky fires). Do you have a home fire drill plan? It is important to prepare in case of a fire. Practice several fire escape routes as a family from each room of the home, and identify an outside meeting place.

For more information on preventing childhood injury, please call McLeod Safe Kids Pee Dee/Coastal at (843) 777-5021 to speak to an Injury Prevention Specialist. You can also visit or find the group on Facebook under McLeod Safe Kids.

McLeod Safe Kids Pee Dee/Coastal is funded in part by the McLeod Health Foundation.