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Fire Prevention for Service Providers

Changing the batteries in a smoke detector

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Fire Prevention for Service Providers



Residential fires cause about 80% of civilian fire-related deaths according to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA). Cooking is the leading cause of residential fires and smoking is the leading cause of fires that lead to death. The third leading cause of residential fires is the use of portable heating equipment such as space heaters. Most fatal fires occur at night.

ALERT! NFPA recommends that all smoke detectors that are more than ten years old be replaced with new ones.


Smoke Detectors Save Lives:

• If you manage a home that has licensing requirements there are safety codes that must be followed. Be sure to be familiar with those codes and follow them to assure the safety of consumers and staff. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that batteries in smoke detectors be changed twice a year and that checking the detector once a month are necessary to assure that the detectors are fully functioning.

• Clean smoke detectors according to manufacturers’ instructions.

• Place at least one detector on each level of the building, including the basement.

• Best idea? A smoke detector in every bedroom.

• Alarms should be mounted on the wall 4 – 12 inches from the ceiling. Ceiling mounted alarms should be 4 inches away from the nearest wall, according to NFPA.


Special Fire Safety Precautions for Persons with Developmental Disabilities:

• For optimal safety, there must be two means of exit from any room used by a consumer.

• Fire drills should be at least once a month at different times of day.

• Be sure there is a plan for consumers with special needs such as adaptive equipment.

• Support house rules around safe smoking practices. Empty ashtrays into heavy cans with tight lids.

• Do not store anything above the stove.

• Be sure that consumers and staff who are cooking do not wear garments with loose sleeves such as a bathrobe.

• Be sure your home or day program has an escape plan and that it includes a place to go after evacuation. 

Last updated on Thu, 06/17/2010 - 10:39