After a house fire in South Sacramento claims the lives of two people, the Sacramento Fire Department reminds us of the importance of smoke alarm installation and maintenance.

Yet another potentially fatal fire erupted in South Sacramento when a blaze started in the back bedroom of a man’s home. The home did not have a working smoke detector. Fortunately for the man, his chocolate lab Buddy woke him up by nudging his owner to alert him of the danger. The dog is being credited for saving the man’s life.

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Robert Padilla of the Sacramento Fire Department explains that the batteries on fire alarm should be checked every month and replaced every six months to avoid potential accidents like that of the past week. Fire alarms should be placed in every bedroom of a home, in hallways and on every floor. Places to avoid mounting fire alarms would include bathrooms and the inside of kitchens, as steam and cooking smoke will often set off the alarm.

If your alarm is 10 years old or older, then it is time to replace it. FIRST ALERT has donated 100 smoke alarms and will be distributing these fire companies throughout the city. These alarms will be provided to those who may not the financial means to buy one.

Fire safety tips:

  • Install smoke alarms inside and outside each bedroom and sleeping area. Install alarms on every level of the home. Install alarms in the basement.
  • Large homes may need extra smoke alarms.
  • It is best to use interconnected smoke alarms. When one smoke alarm sounds they all sound.
  • Test all smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working.
  • There are two kinds of alarms. Ionization smoke alarms are quicker to warn about flaming fires. Photoelectric alarms are quicker to warn about smoldering fires. It is best to use of both types of alarms in the home.
  • A smoke alarm should be on the ceiling or high on a wall. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. They should be at least 10 feet (3 meters) from the stove.
  • People who are hard-of-hearing or deaf can use special alarms. These alarms have strobe lights and bed shakers.
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
  • Smoke alarms are an important part of a home fire escape plan.

See Sacramento Fire Department’s Facebook page and Twitter for more into on fire safety.