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Free Smoke Alarms
Smoke Alarms – Protection For Life

Free Smoke Alarms
The Hagerstown Fire Department provides free smoke alarms to all residents within the corporate boundary. Not only do we provide the free smoke alarms, but we also install them into your home free of charge.  For those residents that live in an apartment building of four or more units, your landlord is required to have electric smoke alarms installed. Our personnel will place a temporary alarm up if yours is not working and deal with the landlord on getting the problem corrected.

To receive your free smoke alarm, please contact the Fire Department Office at 301-790-2476 or fill out this form.

Taking Care of Your Smoke Alarm
Just like most machines, smoke alarms need regular maintenance to keep them in good working order. Check the alarm each week by pressing and holding the test button until the alarm begins to beep. Install new batteries in the unit twice each year when you change your clocks in the spring and fall. Replace the battery immediately if the unit starts making a "chirping" sound alerting you to a low battery condition. Replace the smoke alarm in ten years or if the unit begins to malfunction. Most important – do not remove the battery from your alarm should it be activated by smoke from cooking or steam from showering. Ask us to relocate the alarm instead of disabling it.

What To Do If The Alarm Sounds
Always treat the alert of a smoke alarm as the signal of a potential fire – most especially at night. If smoke is visible stay low and crawl to the nearest exit. Have an escape plan made in advance so your family is familiar with several ways to get out of your home quickly and safely. Pick a meeting place outdoors where everyone will meet and be accounted for. Once outside – stay outside! Contact the fire department from a neighbor's house, a cell phone or a pay phone.

Why Smoke Alarms Are Important
Smoke alarms are your number one defense against a fatal fire occurring in your home. The units detect very small amounts of smoke and will quickly alert your family to a fire in progress. Most victims who die in a fire are killed by the toxic smoke produced when combustibles burn. The number one factor which contributes to fire fatality is the lack of adequate smoke alarm protection. While 90% of American's homes have smoke alarms, it is estimated that nearly 30% of those alarms will not work because of dead or missing batteries. In Maryland it is law that every home must be equipped with a working smoke alarm. Now that your home is protected, your job is simply to maintain the unit and practice good life safety habits. Should you require assistance with maintaining your alarm, please contact our office at 301-790-2476. We will be pleased to assist you.

Make Life Safety A Priority
Think about this situation...A person dies from smoke inhalation in a fire caused by a carelessly discarded cigarette. The battery in the family smoke detector was dead at the time of the fire. Most people would call the situation a "terrible accident." We challenge you to change the way Americans use the word "accident." The situation was indeed a preventable occurrence. Had the cigarette not been improperly discarded the fire would not have happened. If the smoke alarm had been maintained the person would have been alerted to the fire. Make life safety a priority in your home. Remember – Your safety is your responsibility.