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Sheehan Family Prepares for Annual Smoke Alarm Blitz

The third annual Smoke Alarm Blitz, in honor of Christian Sheehan, will take place on Saturday, April 13th. Firefighters and staff from the Champaign Fire Department and Neighborhood Service Department, along with Red Cross and Smoke Alarm Blitz volunteers will be going door-to-door in north Champaign to install working smoke detectors in as many as 225 homes.

Three years ago, the Sheehan family lost their son, Christian Sheehan, 23, in a house fire. Sheehan was sleeping when the house he was renting went up in flames, and fire investigators determined the smoke detectors were not working at the time of the fire. Since then, the family has been involved in spreading knowledge and awareness about the importance of having working smoke detectors.

In order to prevent others from experiencing a similar preventable death, the family is channeling their grief into Smoke Alarm Blitz, making sure that homeowners are aware of the importance of properly working smoke detectors. The Sheehans and friends are putting door hangers on the homes who can benefit from the free detectors, informing them that they can get them installed on April 13th or they can make an appointment to have their current smoke detectors inspected or new ones installed.

Smoke alarms are essential to protect the people in your house from fires, and one of the biggest issues is that most homeowners forget to maintain them. Without proper maintenance, working smoke alarms are not guaranteed, putting the lives of you and other individuals in your household at risk.  The following tips will ensure that your smoke alarms are in proper working order at all times:

  • Test Units
    • Units should be tested monthly by pressing the test button.
  • Replace Batteries
    • New batteries should be installed immediately when you hear the low-battery warning alarm.
    • Even if there is no indication of a low battery, it is imperative to replace the batteries at least once a year.
    • To help you remember when you replaced the batteries, write it in a calendar.
  • Regular Cleaning
    • Clean smoke alarms regularly by vacuuming them with a brush attachment.
    • It is recommended to do this every month, or at least every 6 months.
  • Replace Units
    • Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years to achieve optimum performance.
    • If you’re not sure how old an alarm is, replace it to be safe.
    • Typically, manufacturers list the date when the alarm was made on the back. To help you remember when your alarm was last replaced, write the date on the back of the base plate.

As you can see, it doesn’t take much to make sure that your smoke alarms are in working order, but the extra effort can save lives. Take a few minutes today and make sure that all the smoke alarms in your house are properly maintained, it can play a significant role in reducing fire deaths and injuries.

With that said, you may not always be in control of ensuring your own safety in a fire. In many cases, property owners are the ones responsible for maintaining smoke alarms, and unfortunately, they do not always meet the standards that are required. If you or someone you love has been injured because of a property owner’s failure to ensure fire safety, you may be eligible for compensation. The premises liability attorneys of Spiros Law, P.C. will fight for your rights and the justice you deserve. Contact us at (217) 328-2828 if you have questions or to speak about your situation today.