Risk Message<br />Working smoke alarms save lives during fires. More than 3,000 people in the United States, die each year in residential fires. Approximately two-thirds of these deaths occurred in homes with either no smoke alarm or no working smoke alarm. Having working smoke alarms in the home greatly improves a family’s chance of surviving a fire. Having a program to educate apartment owners, managers and maintenance staff on the importance of maintaining smoke alarms will save lives. <br />
Smoke Alarms Basics<br />The next slide is an YouTube video on smoke alarm basics from the National Fire Protection Agency<br />Once you view the video you may continue to the next slide <br />
Fire Statistics<br />Orange County Fire Authority reports a total of 3,307 residential fire incidents between 2004 and 2008.<br />Those fires resulted in 13 deaths and 223 injuries.<br />Of these fires, 406 homes had no working smoke alarm.<br />An additional 129 of the homes had smoke alarms that failed to activate.<br />Sixteen percent of all residential fire incidents had no working smoke alarms.<br />
History of Smoke Alarms<br />By January 1, 1987 the Health and Safety Code require all residential units to be equipped with smoke alarm devices. Apartment units in existence prior to that date may install the stand alone battery powered smoke alarm devices to meet this requirement. Apartment units constructed after that date must have electrical wired devices. The landlord has a duty to verify that the detector is working when a tenant takes possession of the unit. This verification should be recorded by a separate document to the lease agreement. <br />Since the early 1970’s apartments which are three (3) or more stories in height or which contain fifteen (15) or more units under one roof are generally required to provide a monitored automatic fire alarm system capable of alerting all tenants in the building to a hostile fire. The fire alarm system is required to be inspected by a licensed fire alarm company at least once a year.<br />Various system designs may exist depending on the year the complex was built and if the complex is protected with a fire sprinkler system. The systems may have both smoke and heat detection devices be powered by the building electrical system or a low voltage fire alarm panel.<br />
Smoke Alarm Systems<br />Know your Smoke Alarm System and how to maintain your Smoke Alarm system in good working condition. <br />Your apartment community may have a combination of system types!<br />
Smoke Alarms Powered by Building Electrical Systems<br /><ul><li>Smoke alarms that are wired to the building household electrical system are typically installed by an electrician when the building was built.
Your smoke alarm system may or may not have a battery backup that will power the smoke alarm when normal power is lost.</li></ul> <br /><ul><li>Your smoke alarms shall be tested at least once a month and hardwired smoke alarms equip with battery backup shall have the battery replaced every six months or according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.</li></ul> <br /><ul><li>Replace smoke alarms at least every ten years or sooner if they don’t respond properly when tested. </li></ul> <br /><ul><li>Smoke alarms shall be located in every sleeping area, in the hallway leading to every sleeping area and on every level of the apartment. </li></li></ul><li>Smoke alarms Systems Powered by Batteries<br /><ul><li>Smoke alarms that are not connected to the building household electrical power or have been added for additional protection are powered by Batteries.
Smoke alarms shall be tested at least once a month.</li></ul> <br /><ul><li>Your apartment smoke alarm may have standard batteries that need to be replaced every six months or according to the manufacture’s recommendations.</li></ul> <br /><ul><li>Your apartment may have smoke alarms powered by 10 year life batteries. If so, do not attempt to replace the battery. Test the smoke alarm at least once a month.</li></ul> <br /><ul><li>Replace smoke alarms at least every ten years or sooner if they don’t respond properly when tested. </li></ul> <br /><ul><li>Smoke alarms shall be located in every sleeping area, in the hallway leading to every sleeping area and on every level of the apartment. </li></li></ul><li>Commercial Smoke Detection System<br /><ul><li>Smoke detection that is powered by a low voltage power supply and connected to a fire alarm control unit that will dial a central control station and respond the fire department in the event of smoke detector activation. Usually a red cabinet located within an electrical closet.
If you have a commercial fire alarm system, it shall be tested by a licensed fire alarm company at least once a year</li></li></ul><li>Ensure Smoke Alarm System is Working Properly<br />What can you the property manager do to ensure the smoke alarm system is working properly:<br />Each time you make a service call to a unit – do the following: Install, Inspect, Protect<br /> <br />Make sure there is working smoke alarm located in each sleeping room, hallway leading to the sleeping room and at least one on every level of the apartment unit.<br />Verify the smoke alarms are not older than 8-10 years or manufactures’ recommendations. If so, replace smoke alarm.<br />Ask the tenant if they have experienced any nuisance/false smoke alarm activations. If they have experienced problems try and help find a solution rather than pull out the battery or remove the device. The smoke alarm may have been installed in a location that promotes nuisance or false alarms, the smoke alarms may need to be relocated to a more affective location.<br />Ask the tenant if they know what to do if the smoke alarm activates. If you see smoke, evacuate the building and call 9-1-1.<br />