Smoke Alarms

Most fatal house fires start at night when residents are asleep inside. Although many people mistakenly believe that if their house caught fire, the smoke would wake them; this is not always the case. Poisonous gases from the fire can numb the senses, putting persons asleep inside into an even deeper sleep. For minimum protection, a smoke alarm should be placed inside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. Since smoke rises, alarms should be mounted high on the wall (4"-12" from the ceiling) or on the ceiling. Smoke alarms should not be installed too close to windows, doors, or forced-air registers, where drafts could interfere with their operation.

All smoke alarms have a 10 year life to them and should be replaced if older than 10 years of age. The Shawnee Fire Department, in partnership with the Office of the State Fire Marshal, offer free long-life sealed combination smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors for our residents and free hearing-impaired smoke alarms with bed shakers for our hearing-impaired residents.

Working and maintained smoke alarms should work in conjunction with a developed and practiced fire escape plan. If you need help in designing your family’s fire escape plan or need a smoke alarm, please call the Shawnee Fire Department at (913) 631-1080