To help keep your home worry free from fire and CO this winter, the experts at Kidde Fire Safety have developed a quick check list. Answer these questions to customize your winter home improvement projects with tasks that save money, reduce a common household annoyance and increase safety.
One in four older homes needs to update fire safety equipment. How old are your alarms?
* Replace smoke alarms every 10 years and CO alarms every five to 10 years, based on the alarm model.
* Purchase an alarm with a 10-year sealed lithium battery, such as Kidde Worry-Free smoke and CO alarms, to receive hassle-free protection for a decade -- no need to change a battery or hear a low-battery chirp. Available at retailers nationwide, with each alarm installed saving you $40 over its life in battery costs.
Seventy-five percent of homeowners don't know where to install smoke alarms. Do you have enough?
* Fire experts recommend placing smoke alarms on every floor and inside/outside all bedrooms. Choose alarms with room-specific features, such as an LED light in the hallway, or a voice notification for the bedroom.
* Place a CO alarm near sleeping areas and on each floor. Keep them 10 feet away from fuel-burning appliances.
Do your alarms incorporate the newest features and technology?
* A sealed-in 10-year lithium battery not only continuously powers the alarm, it's also tamper-proof and can't be removed.
* A digital display shows the level of CO in the air and updates the reading every 15 seconds.
*An intelligent multi-sensor responds faster to real fires and CO, while reducing nuisance alarms like those commonly caused by cooking.
*An end-of-life appliance warning lets you know when to replace your alarms.
Do you need other safety products?
* Fire extinguisher - place one within reach in rooms where fires often begin: kitchen, garage, bedroom, living area
* Escape ladder - place in second- and third-floor rooms as an alternative escape route
Have you developed a family escape plan?
*Create a plan and practice regularly. Know two ways out of every room and who will assist children and loved ones with mobility/health issues.
Do your children know their address and how to dial 911?
* Post your home address and emergency phone numbers on the refrigerator.
Are your appliances and chimney winter-ready?
* Have a professional inspect fuel-burning appliances to ensure they function properly and that they vent outside.
* Have a professional clean or inspect fireplaces annually. Birds and small animals can cause leaves to build up on top of the chimney, preventing carbon monoxide from venting properly.
* Create a 3-foot clutter free zone around fireplaces, space heaters or wood stoves.
For a downloadable winter home project checklist and other information visit www.worryfreealarm.com.