Phoenix firefighters remind families to check smoke detectors, create fire safety plan

In light of a devastating townhome fire in Phoenix, firefighters want you to make sure you have a fire safety plan. And that means checking your smoke detectors
Published: Mar. 6, 2023 at 12:37 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Smoke detectors can save lives, but only if they’re maintained properly. Kylee Cruz went to speak with Phoenix Fire Department on how to create a family fire safety plan and how to care for smoke detectors around your home or apartment.

Capt. Todd Keller said, “The reason why most smoke detectors don’t work is that they’re missing batteries or they have dead batteries. A fire doubles about every 30 seconds, so you have about five minutes to get out of your house when there is a fire. Know the exits and get out safely.” Each month, the captain suggests dusting off the unit and never painting over it.

That annoying chirping or buzzing sound you’ve likely heard is a sign that it’s time to get those batteries replaced. A smoke detector’s lifespan sits around 10 years, so if you’re not sure how old your smoke detector is, it may be time to change them. Keller said, “We recommend putting them everywhere in the house and in outside living areas. One place people don’t have these where they should is the garage. We have car fires...and there’s no way to alert people when these fires start.”

Every family should have a fire escape plan that is practiced at least twice a year. The captain encourages parents with younger children to practice even more so there’s some muscle memory in place. “Family members with disabilities need extra time so plan that into your escape plan as well,” he said. Keller says that another great item to have at home for fire safety is a fire extinguisher. He suggests keeping it in the kitchen since there’s a higher risk of fire.