Smoke Detectors


Over 6,000 deaths occur in house fires each year.  Most people die from smoke and toxic gases rather than the fire itself. Many never even wake up.

Most fire deaths are preventable. Protect yourself and your family by:

  • Purchasing one or more smoke detectors.  A smoke detector is a fire alarm that buzzes when it detects smoke, warning you in time to escape.
  • Install your detectors properly.
  • Identify escape routes and practice escaping.
  • Maintain your detectors.
What kind should I buy?
  • Smoke detectors can be either house current or battery operated. Either kind does a good job.
  • Make sure the model you choose has been listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory (Underwriters Laboratory or Factory Mutual).


How much does a smoke detector cost?

A smoke detector may be purchased at most retail stores for about $10.00 - $30.00.

If your family is unable to afford a smoke detector, the Idlewild Volunteer Fire Department has a program available to place battery operated units in your home at no cost.  Contact us at for more information.


How many should I have in my house?

There should be a least one smoke detector in every household. Additional detectors will significantly increase your chances of survival.


Installation is Simple

If you can handle a screwdriver, you can install most smoke detectors.  If you are not able to install your smoke detector yourself, please contact the Idlewild Volunteer Fire Department at 704-545-5561 during regular business hours and arrange to have one of our firefighters assist you with the installation.


Where should I install my smoke detectors?

Smoke detectors should be placed on the ceiling or high on a wall near the bedrooms. This enables the detector to sense the smoke as it approaches the sleeping area. Install your smoke detector away from air outlet vents to prevent dust accumulation. Call your local fire station for advice on the best place to install your detectors.


How do I install my smoke detectors?
  • Battery-operated and "plug-in" electric detectors can be attached directly to the ceiling or wall.
  • "Wired-in" electric detectors are somewhat more difficult to install and may require an electrician.


Know How to Escape

Your smoke detector will awaken you, but you may not be thinking clearly. You should practice escaping before an emergency strikes. Learn more about fire escape plans here.


Identify Escape Routes

Plan two exits from every room. Second story windows may need a rope or chain ladder to enable occupants to escape safely. Choose a meeting place outside the home so you'll know everyone has escaped.


Practice Escaping

Practice allows you to test your plan before a real emergency. You may not be able to reach your children! It is important that they know exactly what to do.


Why ?

Once a fire has started, it spreads rapidly. You may have only seconds to get out.    Normal exits from bedrooms may be blocked by smoke or fire. It is important everyone knows exactly what to do.


Maintenance is Important

Your smoke detector must be maintained properly to provide you and your family with protection.

  • Replace batteries and bulbs according to the manufacturer's instructions. Remember to change batteries when you change your clocks!
  • Dust the grill of your detector.
  • Test your detector periodically according to the manufacturer's instructions.