El Dorado County Fire Safe Council

The mission of EI Dorado County Fire Safe Council is to protect the people of EI Dorado County and their property from the effects of catastrophic wildfire through education, cooperation, innovation and action.

CDF News Release – Your first line of defense – Smoke Alarms!


CONTACT: Teri Mizuhara
Fire Prevention Spec. II
RELEASE DATE: Oct. 22, 2004


Your first line of defense – Smoke Alarms!

Camino – Did you know you are required to replace your smoke alarms a minimum of every 10 years? Every smoke alarm offered for sale, sold or installed in the state is required to be California State Fire Marshal approved and listed (see the CSFM Listing Label below). The Amador-El Dorado Unit of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection is reminding everyone like anything else, smoke alarms have a lifespan. Just because you see the red light on the alarm does not mean the alarm will work once the life span of the alarm has run out.

For about $150 you can get 5 dual sensor smoke alarms that would cover an average 3 bedroom home. You can’t bring a family of four to Six Flags Marine World for the day for $150, isn’t your families health and welfare and your home worth $150?

Location, Location, Location

Smoke alarms should be installed in every bedroom, in all hallways, and on each level of the home. You should be able to hear them from each bedroom when the bedroom doors are closed. This is especially critical with children and the elderly who may not wake up to the sound of a smoke alarm going off in their own room.

Carbon Monoxide-The Silent Killer

Carbon Monoxide is produced when things like wood, propane, natural gas are burned. It is tasteless and odorless so you do not know when carbon monoxide (CO) begins to build up in your home. If your heating system is not properly installed or maintained or simply malfunctions, you can quickly become a victim of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Depending on the level of poisoning, you may recover, suffer permanent brain damage or die.

CO detectors should be placed in every bedroom and in hallways leading to bedrooms. They run about $27 online for a battery operated detector.


 Don’t forget to test your smoke alarm once a month and clean your smoke alarm following the manufacturer’s instructions.

 Make sure parents can hear the smoke alarms in their children’s rooms with the doors closed.

 Change your batteries TWICE a year when you change your clocks. This may seem like a nuisance, but it may mean the difference between life and death.

 Do not place unvented kerosene or propane heaters inside your home. If they are vented, make sure the venting system is well maintained and that there is a carbon monoxide detector in every bedroom and in the main hallways.

Don’t forget.Practice a Fire Escape Plan

Smoke alarms are the first line of defense. The second is to develop a fire escape plan and to practice it at least twice a year with all members of your household (more often if you have children in the home). In the event of a fire, every family member should know at least two ways out of each room. If there is smoke, stay as close to the floor as possible during your escape. Smoke rises, so the air nearest the floor may be safer to breathe. Teach your children how to escape in case of a fire — not to hide under a bed or in a closet.

Do not forget to designate a “meeting place” for everyone to gather once they have exited the house. Make sure this is a well lit place a safe distance from the home. In case of an emergency you will know if everyone escaped safely. If not, wait for emergency personnel to arrive and NEVER re-enter the home.

15 minutes a month can prepare you and your family in case disaster strikes. If you live alone or are disabled, make sure you talk with your neighbors about your plans for escape.

Office of the State Fire Marshal

The Office of the State Fire Marshal “Listing Label”. Make sure every smoke alarm and smoke detector carries this “seal of approval”. If this label is missing, do not install the smoke alarm/detector.