Fresno Fire Department
Smoke Alarm Program
Contact Us
Kerri L. Donis
Fire Chief
911 H Street
Fresno, CA 93721
(559) 621-4199
E-Mail Us
Department Home

The most common cause of death during a home fire is not from the fire itself, but from the toxic smoke and gases released during a fire. These products of combustion often render victims unconscious or disoriented, leaving them unable to react, especially during the sleeping hours. The City of Fresno averages one to five fire related deaths each year, in most cases a working smoke alarm would have made the difference between life and death.

In the most recent data available, almost two-thirds of all fire related deaths in the home occur in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. With the combination of a properly working smoke alarm and home fire sprinkler system the odds of suffering a fire related death drops by 83%, and the rate of property damage drops by 71%. (NFPA reports: U.S. Experience with Sprinklers & Smoke Alarms in U.S. Home Fires)

The fire service has known for many years the best way to prevent these needless deaths is for people to follow some very simple and effective fire safety steps such as; equip their homes with smoke alarms inside each sleeping room, in the areas outside each sleeping room and on each floor of the home. Residents should also test their smoke alarm weekly and practice exiting their home in response to a smoke alarm activation. Children, the elderly, and people with special needs are the most vulnerable and should practice exiting the home.

The Fresno Fire Department has the following guidelines for smoke alarms:

  • Count your smoke alarms: We recommend installing a smoke alarm inside each sleeping room, in the areas outside each sleeping room, and on every level of your home.
  • Check your smoke alarms: Test each smoke alarm weekly, to make certain they are all working.
  • Vacuum your smoke alarms: Clean and dust smoke alarms each month to help keep them functioning properly.
  • Change your batteries : Change the batteries in each smoke alarm at least twice a year (during daylight savings) or as soon as the alarm “chirps” indicating the battery is low.
  • Change your alarm: Replace each smoke alarm every ten years and your carbon monoxide alarm according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Know the sound: Ensure each person in the home can hear and recognize the sound of the smoke alarm and knows how to react immediately. Assistive devices are available for those who are deaf or have other special needs.
  • The Fresno Fire Department recommends the use of photoelectric smoke alarms when replacing your existing alarms or installing new ones.

In the interests of enhancing safety for our community, the Central California Burn Aware (link) Foundation, through the Fresno Fire Department – Fire Prevention Division, provides smoke alarms, free of charge, to residents of Fresno. Applicants must live in a single family home or mobile home in the City of Fresno.