The Pine Bluff Fire and Emergency Services Department is reminding residents about the importance of smoke detectors on the heels of a Red Cross awareness campaign.

The National Fire Protection Association estimates that two-thirds of home fire deaths occur in homes without smoke alarms or working smoke alarms. Often times smoke alarms fail to operate because batteries were missing, disconnected, or dead.

Here are some safety tips for smoke alarms:

• Install a working smoke alarm on every level of the home, outside and or inside sleeping areas/bedrooms.

• Smoke alarm batteries should be changed at least annually.

• Test smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button.

• Make sure everyone in the home knows the sound of the smoke alarm and knows what to do when it sounds.

• Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.

• Replace the smoke alarm immediately if it doesn’t respond properly when tested.

• Batteries in traditional type smoke alarms should be changed at least once a year, and or in accordance with manufacturers’ recommendations.

• Develop a plan of escape. Make sure everyone in the household knows how to get out of every room and how to evacuate in under two minutes. They should also know where to meet, once they are out of the house.

• Try to avoid placing a smoke alarm near a bathroom, heating appliance windows, or ceiling fans.

• Be sure to install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

“… it’s a great time to check the smoke alarms, change the batteries, ‘put a finger on it’ and make the smoke alarm sound,” a fire and emergency services spokesman said.

On April 27, fire and emergency services participated with the American Red Cross to install smoke detectors free of charge inside Pine Bluff homes.

Even though that campaign has ended, any resident of Pine Bluff can still receive a free smoke detector by calling (870) 730-2048.

The fire department can also provide reflective, adhesive, numbers for the house if the home doesn’t have a visible address.

“This service can help insure a more certain response in case you are in need of emergency services,” the spokesman said.