Where you put that smoke detector could mean the difference between life and death

MAYFIELD VILLAGE, Ohio - Even a fire station is not fire-proof.

You would expect the Mayfield Village fire station to have plenty of smoke detectors inside.

To say they have plenty would be an understatement.

But it's about where and how they're placed that could make the difference in any living space.

"You have to remember you have to protect certain spaces each individual sleeping space if an average bedroom is 12 by 12 you still need a smoke alarm in that bedroom and you need another one in the area outside of those bedrooms as well like the hallway that serves the bedroom," Mayfield Village Assistant Fire Chief Mike Girbino said.

Girbino says many homeowners still believe that you just need one or two smoke detectors to cover an entire home.

He says studies show that thinking is outdated.

In fact experts say the best placement is to have a detector not only on every level but in every bedroom in the house as well.

"We recommend people sleep with the doors closed if something starts taking place in that bedroom itself you want to make sure you get that early warning." North East Ohio Fire Prevention Association John Desmarteau said.

"Because if you're sleeping in that room if you don't have an alarm by the time that smoke goes down and into the hallway it's too late for that individual in that room."

If a fire starts in the downstairs kitchen, by the time the smoke or heat sets off an alarm in an upstairs bedroom with the toxins that can be found in from the burning plastics in the typical home, it may be too late.

Having complete coverage in your home can give a family enough time to get out.

Fire experts are also recommending that looking into an upgrade of your smoke detectors.

The ionization detector which detects smoke...Is not as effective as a photo electric detector

"The photo electric reacts better to both slow smoldering fires and then the fast flamings as well to give you that early warning so you have that escape time to get out," Desmarteau said

They also recommend checking the age of your smoke detectors.

Desmarteau says fire detectors have a 5 to 10 year lifespan he says once their reach their limits they may not provide adequate protection.

He says most fire departments offer programs or homeowners can get new detectors at a reduced cost or in some cases for free.

He says for any type of fire prevention advice you should be able to contact the fire department in your area
You can also click here to go to the North East Ohio Fire Prevention Association.

For more information about photo electric fire alarms click here.