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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How and When to Test Your Smoke Alarm

10/30/2018 (Permalink)

According to the National Fire Protection Agency, U.S. fire departments responded to an average of 358,500 home structure fires per year between 2011 and 2015. Working smoke alarms give an early warning of fire, give people additional time to escape, and thus cut the risk of dying in a reported home fire in half. However, a significant percentage of residential smoke alarms fail to operate during a fire. The two main reasons for a failed smoke alarm detector are simply missing or disconnected batteries and dead batteries. Both cases are easily preventable. 

How to Test Your Smoke Alarm 

Most smoke alarms have a clearly labeled "test" button. Make a habit to press this button at least once a month to ensure the batteries are properly working. This sound will be loud, but make sure everyone in your family is involved in this exercise to learn what noise to expect in case of an emergency. If the alarm does not sound when tested, then it is time to replace the batteries. 

Once you've established that the smoke alarms are properly working, determine if it responds to smoke particles by using a smoke detector test aerosol spray can (be sure to look for one that is UL listed).

When to Test Your Smoke Alarm

You should test your smoke alarms at least once a month to make certain they are operating properly. Another good habit is to change the batteries in your smoke alarms twice each year, once in Spring when we turn the clocks forward an hour and once in Fall when we turn the clocks back an hour. Also, smoke alarms should be replaced every ten years. Dust and debris can settle inside of the alarm and cause the sensors to fail. If you have recently purchased your home, then you should replace all of the smoke alarms unless you can prove the manufacturing date. 

Need Assistance With Obtaining Or Installing a Smoke Alarm?

The state of Louisiana supplies each fire station with smoke alarm detectors for the public every year. If you can't afford a smoke alarm or cannot install them by yourself, then please reach out to your local fire department for help. Your local fire department will give and install smoke alarms in your home free of charge as a part of their program Operation Save A Life. 

Fire Districts in St. Tammany Parish:

  1. Fire District 1, Slidell
  2. Fire District 2 Fire Department, Madisonville
    • To contact someone in this fire department call the administrative office at 985-845-3330 or send an email here 
  3. Fire District 3, Lacombe
    • To contact someone in this fire department you can dial 985-882-5977 or send an email to admin@stfd3.com
  4. District 4, Mandeville
    • St. Tammany Fire Protection District No. 4 encompasses an approximate 70 square mile region on the Northshore of Lake Pontchartrain in Southern Louisiana. The District boundaries are formed by the fourth ward of St. Tammany Parish. It is bordered to the east at Pontchartrain Drive on Highway 190, west to the Tchefuncte River, north to Ponchitalawa Creek (including additional areas along LA Highways 36, 59, Interstate 12, Helenburg Road and the River Oaks subdivision), and south extending 13.4 miles on the Greater New Orleans Expressway (Causeway).
    • To contact someone in this fire department dial 985-626-8671 or send an email to contactus@mandevillefire.net
  5. District 5, Folsom
    • To contact someone in this fire department dial 985-796-5266.
  6. District 6, Covington and North Lee Road Areas
    • To contact someone in this fire department dial 985-809-1768.
  7. City of Covington Fire Department
    • To contact someone in this station dial 985-898-4727 or send an email to bnunez@covla.com
  8. District 8, Abita Springs
    • To contact someone in this fire department dial 985-892-2065 or send an email to fd8admin@stfd8.com
  9. District 9, Bush 
  10. District 11, Pearl River 
    • To contact someone in this fire department dial 985-863-3132 or send an email to contact@stfpd11.org
  11. Fire District 12 
    • The District’s boundaries wrap around the City of Covington to the south, east and north, and take in one of West St. Tammany’s busiest corridors – Hwy. 190 between I-12 and Covington. From rural areas north of Covington to the densely populated Tammany Hills and Crestwood subdivisions, FD12 provides service to more than 25,000 people and 1,200 businesses.
    • To contact someone at this department dial 985-892-5161 or send an email to info@fd12.org
  12. District 13, Goodbee Fire Department

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