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Get a smoke alarm, test your smoke alarms

Alpena firefighters last week went door to door north of the Thunder Bay River, volunteering to install free smoke alarms and help families create home escape plans.

We hope many people took advantage of the offer.

For the rest of us, it’s important to keep smoke alarms — the right number in the right places — up and running in our houses.

The National Fire Protection Association offers the following tips:

∫ A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat and fire. Install smoke alarms in every sleeping room and outside each separate 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.

∫ 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 from the stove.

∫ People who are hard-of-hearing or deaf can use special alarms with strobe lights and bed shakers.

∫ Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.

Smoke alarms play an important role in keeping us and our families safe. It’s important we treat them with the care they deserve.

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