Belford Engine Company, Station 3, Middletown Township Fire Department

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Smoke Detectors are Your First Line of Defense

We urge all residents and businesses to inspect your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms to ensure that they are working properly. Make sure all are in good working condition and have new batteries. If you have any questions related to installation, replacement of batteries or overall inspection of these units, please feel free to contact us at (732) 787-8561 or email us at Also, please visit our Fire Safety page located in the menu bar for further information. If you are unable to afford a smoke detector, contact the Middletown Township Fire Prevention Bureau at (732) 615-2270 and arrangemts will made for you free of charge.


Smoke Alarms Save Lives

The majority of fatal home fires happen at night when people are asleep. Contrary to popular belief, the smell of smoke may not wake a sleeping person. The poisonous gases and smoke produced by a fire can numb the senses and put you into a deeper sleep.

Inexpensive household smoke alarms sound an alarm, alerting you to a fire. By giving you time to escape, smoke alarms cut your risk of dying in a home fire nearly in half. Smoke alarms save so many lives that most states have laws requiring them in private homes.

Don’t gamble with your life or the lives of your family!!

Choosing an Alarm

Be sure that the smoke alarms you buy carry the label of an independent testing laboratory. Several types of alarms are available. Some run on batteries, others on household current. Some detect smoke using an “ionization” sensor; others use a “photoelectric” detection system. All listed smoke alarms, regardless of type, will offer adequate protection provided they are all installed and maintained properly.

Is One Enough?

Every home should have at least one smoke alarm outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. The National Fire Alarm Code, published by the NFPA, requires a smoke alarm in every sleeping room for new construction. On floors without bedrooms, alarms should be installed in or near living areas, such as dens, living rooms, or family rooms.

Be sure everyone sleeping in your home can hear your smoke alarm. If any residents are hearing-impaired or sleep with bedroom doors closed, install additional alarms inside sleeping areas as well. There are special smoke alarms for the hearing impaired; these flash a light in addition to sounding an audible alarm.

For extra protection, the NFPA suggests installing alarms in dining rooms, furnace rooms, utility rooms, and hallways. Smoke alarms are not recommended for kitchens, bathrooms, or garages-where cooking fumes, steam, or exhaust fumes could set off false alarms-or for attics and other unheated spaces where humidity and temperature changes might affect an alarm’s operation.

Where to Install                     

Because smoke rises, mount alarms high on a wall or on the ceiling. Wall-mounted units should be mounted so that the top of the alarm is 4 to 12 inches (10 to 30 centimeters) from the ceiling. A ceiling- mounted alarm should be attached at least 4 inches (10 centimeters) from the nearest wall. In a room with a pitched ceiling, mount the alarm at or near the ceiling’s highest point.BECO/smokedetectdifflevels.jpg

In stairways with no doors at the top or bottom, position smoke alarms anywhere in the path of smoke moving up the stairs. But always position smoke alarms at the bottom of closed stairways, such as those leading from the basement, because dead air trapped near the door at the top of a stairway could prevent smoke from reaching an alarm located at the top.

REMEMBER: A smoke detector that doesn’t work is like having no smoke detector at all.


Most battery-powered smoke alarms and alarms that plug into wall outlets can be installed using only a drill and a screwdriver, by following the BECO/Smokedetector2.gifmanufacturer’s instructions. Plug-in alarms must have restraining devices so they cannot be unplugged by accident. Alarms can also be hard-wired into a building’s electrical system. Hard-wired alarms should be installed by a qualified electrician. Never connect a smoke alarm to a circuit that can be turned off from a wall switch.

False Alarms

Cooking vapors and steam sometimes set off a smoke alarm. To correct this, try moving the alarm away from the kitchen or bathroom, or install an exhaust fan. Cleaning your alarm regularly, according to manufacturer’s instructions, may also help.


·         Only a functioning smoke alarm can protect you.

·         Never disable an alarm by “borrowing” its battery for another use.

·         Following manufacturer’s instructions, test all your smoke alarms monthly and install new batteries at least once a year-when you set the clocks back in the fall, for example-or when an alarm is “chirping” to indicate that the battery is low.

·         Ten-year alarms using a 10-year lithium battery are now available.

·         Clean your smoke alarms using a dust brush without removing the alarm’s cover.

·         Never paint a smoke alarm.

·         Smoke alarms don’t last forever. Replace any smoke alarm that is more than 10 years old.

Plan and Practice                     

·         Make sure everyone is familiar with the sound of the detectors’ alarms.BECO/escapeplan.jpg

·         Plan escape routes. Know at least two ways out of each room. Agree on a meeting place outside your home where all residents will gather after they escape. Practice your escape plan at least twice a year.

·         Remove obstructions from doors and windows needed for escape.

·         Make sure everyone in the household can unlock doors and windows quickly, even in the dark. Windows or doors with security bars should be equipped with quick-release devices and everyone in the household should know how to use them.

·         When an alarm sounds, leave immediately. Go directly to your meeting place and call the fire department from a neighbor’s phone.

·         Once you’re out, stay out. Never go back inside a burning building!

Did You Know:

Ø  When you’re asleep you can’t smell smoke-if anything, smoke will put you into a deeper sleep.

Ø  90% of people that are found in a fire look like they’re asleep; the only difference is their faces are dirty from the soot because they died from the smoke and gases.

Ø  Most people die in the first 5 minutes of a fire.

Ø  In a fire, heat at the floor level is 90 degrees, at head height, the temperature is 600 degrees, and at the ceiling, the temperature is 800 degrees. Heat at over 150 degrees will knock you unconscious and kill you.

Ø  A fire burning in a house for 1 minute grows to 3 times its original size. In 4 minutes, it grows to 11 times its size, and in 6 minutes, it reaches 50 times its original size.

Ø  It is estimated that half the homes across the country, don’t have working smoke detectors due to the batteries being dead or missing.

If you REALLY want to fight fire, join the Workin' Company! Click on Uncle Sam for info.

Copyright 2008-2013, Belford Engine Fire Co.,
Station 3, Middletown Township Fire Department
 This page is designed and maintained by FF. Rob Chenoweth from Station 3, MTFD

*739 Main St.* Belford, NJ 07718* (732) 787-8561


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