The Oak Harbor Fire Department strongly encourages everyone to install and maintain working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in their home, however, we do not recommend one brand of detector over another. Very useful information about selecting, installing and maintaining smoke detectors can be found at the U.S. Fire Administration and National Fire Protection Association websites; including information about which detectors have been recalled.
It is imperative to understand the need not to rely solely on smoke alarms as the entire answer to escaping from fire. Home escape planning is required for each family and smoke alarms are a tool in the planning process. Parents need to clearly understand their supporting roles in the escape plan. After going over the plan with your family, you should conduct a walkthrough of the plan. When you feel comfortable with your plan, hold a fire drill at night (activate your alarm) while your children are sleeping so that you and they can determine the appropriate response to a smoke alarm.
Smoke alarms and automatic sprinklers do save lives but they are just tools in the home escape process. Families need to remember that while technology is an integral part of the process, the maintenance of that technology (e.g. regular testing, replacing batteries, etc.) and incorporating planning and participation in their use will be the key to saving lives.