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Carbon Monoxide & Smoke Alarms

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Smoke Detector Graphic 2 

It is the goal of the Santee Fire Department to have working smoke detectors in every home in the city. Public education and building code requirements assist with this effort. To further assist and provide a higher level of service to the residents of Santee, the fire department began a unique program in April 1998. As members of the fire department respond to emergency calls, they check the smoke detectors within the homes and replace batteries to ensure their working condition. If the home does not have a working smoke detector, the fire department will install one at no charge.

For more information on the smoke detector program, call (619) 258-4100, ext. 207

What is a smoke alarm?

A smoke alarm is a battery-operated or electrically-connected device that senses the presence of visible or invisible particles produced by combustion and that is designed to sound an alarm within the room or suite within which it is located.

Are smoke alarms effective?

The largest percentage of fire deaths in the home occurs at night while people are asleep. Therefore, a working smoke alarm can provide an early warning that can make the difference between life and death. According to studies published by the National Fire Protection Association, having a smoke detector cuts your risk of dying in a fire by nearly half. However, a smoke alarm should be part of an overall home fire safety strategy that also includes preventing fires by adopting fire-safe behavior and developing and practicing a home fire escape plan. In a fire, escape time may be very limited. Therefore, escape plans are a critical aspect of a home fire safety strategy. For additional information on the effectiveness of smoke alarms, refer to the Smoke Alarm Fact sheet.

What is the principal reason for smoke alarms not functioning?

Over a recent three-year period, an analysis was undertaken of people who died in homes where smoke alarms were present but did not work. 85% of those victims did not have a functioning smoke alarm because of a dead or missing battery/power source.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Carbon monoxide detectors are inexpensive and can be purchased at most home improvement stores locally in the city of Santee.

A state law that went into effect on July 1st, 2011, requires a carbon monoxide detector be installed in all single-family homes that have an attached garage, fireplace or a fossil-burning heater. Multi-family residences, such as apartment buildings, had until 2013 to comply.

The State Air Resources Board estimates that carbon monoxide poisoning causes 30 to 40 deaths every year in California. The Board said inhalation of the gas has led to about 175 to 700 emergency room and hospital visits within a three-year period in California. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas. A detector is the only way to tell if you have carbon monoxide in your home or business.