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Smoke Detectors

When a fire occurs in your home, your chances of survival double when smoke detectors are present and properly maintained. For your protection, install a smoke detector outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. Smoke detectors are not recommended for kitchens, bathrooms, or garages, where cooking fumes, steam, or exhaust could set off false alarms.


Smoke detectors can be battery operated, plugged in, or hard-wired into a building's electrical system. Never connect a detector to a circuit that can be turned off at a wall switch, and never remove the battery from a smoke detector without immediately replacing it. Residential smoke detectors fall into two major types: photoelectric and ionization. WFD recommends a combination of both types of detectors, properly installed, for the best level of fire protection. When buying detectors, always check the box to ensure that the manufacturer has obtained the UL listing and is approved by a recognized fire agency. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for installation and use of your smoke detector in your home.


Your smoke detector should be cleaned and tested at least once a year. Batteries should be changed twice a year when the clocks are changed to and from Daylight Savings Time. Smoke detectors should never be painted. For your family's safety, you should develop a Home Fire Escape Drill to work in conjunction with your smoke detector — see "Home Safety Tips."


Utility System Tips

  • We recommend an annual service check by an insured and City of Warren certified heating contractor as your first line of defense.
  • Clean or replace your furnace filters regularly.
  • Remember, a cracked heat exchanger in a furnace could allow dangerous carbon monoxide to enter the house through the heating ducts.
  • The flue pipes should also be checked for leaks.
  • Install and maintain a carbon monoxide detector.

Hot water heaters:

  • The flue pipes should be checked for leaks.
  • Check flames for proper burning. Too much yellow flame indicates a poor gas/air mixture and may indicate that cleaning is necessary.

Heating tape for water pipes:

  • Always use the right type of tape for the job.
  • All electrical connections should be protected from water and not bare. If in doubt, hire an insured and City of Warren certified electrical contractor to install the equipment properly.
  • Use the correct type of insulation that is recommended by the heat tape manufacturer.

Christmas safety tips:

  • Water live trees daily.
  • Use a safe and securely built tree stand.
  • Use only UL approved tree lights with no cracked insulation or bare spots on the wire. If in doubt, throw them away.
  • Do not overload extension cords or outlets.
  • Do not leave lights on unattended.
  • Use great caution with candles.