Smoke detectors are the easiest and most efficient way to ensure safety in the home from a fire or smoke hazard. Almost half of all fires occur in homes that lack working smoke alarms.

They cost as little as $6, though high-end alarms can cost up to $100. The truth is, everybody needs a smoke alarm. Whether you are living in an apartment, house, or staying in a hotel, anywhere your head hits a pillow should be equipped with smoke, fire and carbon monoxide protection.

Underwriters Laboratories says that you 30 years ago, residents had about 20 minutes to get out of a house fire alive. They say that number is down to three or four minutes now, which is why a smoke detector is so crucial. It will alert you of a fire in those incremental moments you’ll need to survive. These four homes specifically could use more protection:

1. Homes with Active Chefs

Every active chef needs working smoke alarms that will alert him of a fire and only go off when necessary. You may have multiple pots and pans cooking at the same time as your oven, all taking place while your chopping onions or preparing another side dish. 

With so many parts of the meal being cooked at once, smoke detectors can help alert you if something catches fire without you noticing. They can also simply help you can keep an eye on your food by alerting you if something starts burning that shouldn’t be. 

2. Larger Homes

The NFPA suggests that a two story, three bedroom house needs a minimum of five smoke alarms.

Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors alert of toxic fumes in the home. These fumes can cause illness and oftentimes people sleep through them. A common thought is “I’ll wake up to smoke or the smell of it,” but this is not true.

About half of home fire deaths occur between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. while residents are asleep, and those with larger homes will need many detectors to alert them throughout the house. Linked sensors can also come in handy for these homes, because residents will know if a smoke detector goes off in their basement from their master bedroom with a linked system.

3. Newly Constructed Homes

If you’re in a new home, you aren’t equipped with anything. Home security, smoke and carbon detectors are among the first tools that need to be installed while you set up the home. 

Since your home was just constructed, and it didn’t come equipped with a past system, start your new home preparations with the tools that will keep you and your family safe.

4. Homes that Haven’t Replaced Detectors

Some fire departments offer free detectors and they may even install them for you. This could happen year round or during fire prevention week. Check in with your local departments to know for sure

According to Prevent Fire, there are over 350,000 home fires in the US a year. They result in over 2,500 deaths. Of these deaths, 60% of them occur during fires in which no working smoke alarm is present. 

The entire smoke detector needs to be replaced every 8-10 years. Keep track of your devices lifetime so you are on top of when to replace your system.

Maintenance, cleaning and testing are extremely important and crucial elements for safety. Our previous safety guide will give you a rundown of everything you need to know.

If you have any questions, concerns or need help with your smoke devices, you can reach out to Protect America on our customer support page or by phone at 1-800-951-5111.