Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives: Grinnell Mutual Encourages Testing Yours Every Month

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During Fire Prevention Week 2014, Grinnell Mutual reminds families to check their smoke alarms and to tell others to do the same. Many homes and apartments are not adequately protected.

Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company; farm insurance; auto insurance; Fire Prevention Week; safety; loss prevention; Grinnell Mutual

Working smoke alarms save lives. Test yours every month.

A widespread problem that our investigators see is that people disconnect or remove the battery when their smoke detector starts chirping rather than replacing it. ~ Alan Clark, Grinnell Mutual Assistant Vice President of Special Investigations

Testing your smoke alarms each month is all it takes to cut the chances of your loved ones dying in a fire. During Fire Prevention Week, October 5-11, Grinnell Mutual encourages families to check their smoke alarms and to remind others to do the same.

“Smoke alarms save lives, but many homes and apartments are not adequately protected,” said Alan Clark, assistant vice president of Special Investigations at Grinnell Mutual. “They may not have any smoke alarms, not enough smoke alarms, alarms that are too old, or alarms that are not working. A widespread problem that our investigators see is that people disconnect or remove the battery when their smoke detector starts chirping rather than replacing it.”

How many smoke alarms do I need?
In accordance with guidelines from the National Fire Protection Association, Grinnell Mutual recommends working smoke alarms on every level of a residence (including the basement), outside each sleeping area and inside each bedroom.

According to the latest NFPA research, working smoke alarms cut the chance of dying in a fire by half. Meanwhile, almost two-thirds of home fire deaths result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.

Test your smoke alarm know-how
It’s easy to think you are protected once smoke alarms are installed, but are you? Compare these ongoing safety tips from Grinnell Mutual with your family’s practices.

  •     Each month push the test button on your smoke alarms to know they work and make sure everyone in your home knows the alarm sound.
  •     Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old (or sooner) if they do not respond properly when tested.
  •     If an alarm chirps to warn the battery is low, replace the battery right away.
  •     Never remove or disable a smoke alarm.
  •     Interconnect hardwired smoke alarms so if one sounds, all will sound. Contact a certified electrician or purchase wireless systems that you can install yourself.

What were your family’s results? If you need assistance testing or installing smoke alarms, contact your local fire department.

More tips to make your family fire-safe

About Grinnell Mutual
Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company, in business since 1909, provides reinsurance for farm mutual insurance companies and property and casualty insurance products through more than 1,600 independent agents in 12 Midwestern states. Grinnell Mutual is the 120th largest property-casualty insurance company in the United States and the largest primary reinsurer of farm mutual companies in North America.


For more information, please contact:

Mallory Bradshaw
Marketing and Online Development
Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Co.
800-362-2041, ext. 5747

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Dawn Sly-Terpstra
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