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Another Preventable Fire Death- Check Those Smoke Detectors!

A 3-year-old girl perished in a fire in an apartment in Rogers Park.This story breaks our heart because fire deaths are so preventable.

Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford says, “There were adults inside at the time, but they didn’t have as much warning as they could have had if a smoke detector had gone off in the next room and they would have heard it.”

smoke detectorDid you know that as a renter, it is YOUR responsibility to maintain the smoke detectors? A landlord is only responsible for shared, common areas, such as hallways, laundry rooms, etc.

At least one smoke detector should be installed on every level of living space, in every sleeping room and in the basement. Also, a carbon monoxide detector should be placed on every level of living space within 15 feet of all sleeping rooms and in the basement.

These critical safety devices should be interconnected, so that if one smoke detector alarms, all smoke detectors in the building would alarm.

Carbon monoxide detectors should also be interconnected if they sense elevated levels of this deadly colorless and odorless gas. All units should also have a battery back-up (typically a 9 volt battery) inside the smoke or carbon monoxide unit, to provide protection even if electrical power is interrupted.

These devices should also be tested before occupancy and on a regular basis, and have the batteries replaced on an annual basis by the tenant or qualified contractor to ensure proper operation.

Another great way to remember to check the batteries yearly, is on the same day we change our clocks for Daylight Savings. Change a battery, and it may save a life!

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