ABC News report says American homes are missing 100 million smok - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

ABC News report says American homes are missing 100 million smoke alarms

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GRAND BLANC (WJRT) - (05/12/14) - One hundred million - that's the amount of smoke alarms missing from American homes.

It's a staggering figure reported Monday morning by ABC News.

So how much do we know when it comes to protecting our homes from fire?

Dave Zacker's three bedroom Holly home has three smoke detectors, but he's one of many American's falling short when it comes to fire protection. The scary part is that many, like Zacker, don't know it.

The Institution of Fire Engineers estimates American homes need another 100 million smoke alarms. After learning that, Zacker admits he's concerned for his family and pets.

"The house we can replace," he said. "We can't replace a human life, so I'm very concerned."

Grand Blanc Fire Chief Jim Harmes heard this most recent report, and told us the number seems "about right".

"The reporter is probably correct because we used to just put the alarms on each level, but now we're putting them in all the bedrooms and with you adding three to four bedrooms in a house and you add up across the nation, that's going to add up quite a bit," he said.

The chief told us that most people he talks to don't know how many smoke detectors they should have. In fact, there are two types of alarms, both needed inside your home.

Zacker didn't know that.

The chief recommends shelling out a bit more cash for a newer smoke detector with both ionization and photoelectric alarms.

Today, it really could mean the difference between life or death.

"When I started back in 1972, we had almost 12 to 13 minutes to get out of a home. Today, because of the rayons and artificial things we build homes with, we have less than three minutes," Harmes said.

The scariest realization for Zacker.

"How do you get everyone out in three minutes, unless you just think of yourself out first and no one is going to do that. So the three minute rule, I don't see how that's going to work," he said.

Now, he'll be making a plan for his family.
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