As a matter of fact, they can double your chance of survival in a fire. Maintain your smoke detectors to ensure they are working by checking each one on the first day of the month. By knowing what your smoke detectors sound like, your family will be able to react quickly in case of fire. Replace the battery once each year. Smoke detectors are inexpensive to install and maintain and they could save your life or the life of someone you care for.

Install smoke detectors in each sleeping room and at least one on every level of your home. Since smoke rises, install them on the ceiling or on the wall, 4 to 12 inches from the ceiling. In rooms with pitched ceilings, mount the detector at or near the ceiling's highest point. Don't install a smoke detector too near a window, door or forced air register where drafts could interfere with the unit's operation. Develop and practice a home escape plan with two ways out of every room. If your detector sounds an alarm, get out of the house quickly and stay out. Rally at your family's designated meeting place. Call 911 from a neighbor's house.

For additional information, contact the Mendota Fire Department at (815) 539-3434.