Do You Have the Time?

Mount Airy Museum of Regional History's clock tower

With time about to fall back (2:00 a.m. Sunday November 6, 2011), can you afford to spend a few minutes in the next week to test the smoke alarms in your home and institution?

Can you really afford not to?

When was the last time you checked your smoke alarms? Last month? Last year? Or can you even remember? If you are not sure your alarms are working, how can you be sure they will protect you and your collection in the event of a fire?

Fire safety experts recommend that cultural heritage institutions contract with an alarm service.  To assist in finding one, the North Carolina Electronic Security Association’s website provides a directory of members.  If your institution needs to purchase, mount, and monitor its own alarms, try to obtain dual sensor smoke alarms.  These incorporate two types of detection technologies and can sense fast moving flames as well as smoldering smoke.

Don’t gamble with your life, your collection’s perpetuity, and your visitors’ safety. Take time to check your alarm system, and remind staff to check and change the batteries in their home smoke detectors.

Going without the protection of a working smoke alarm is a risk too dangerous to take. In a fire, you’ll need every second possible to get out safely, and the early warning from a smoke alarm can make the difference between surviving a fire and dying in one.

Let the end of daylight savings time be your reminder to test your smoke alarms today.  Be vigilant in checking alarms at least semiannually.  You can’t afford not to!


About collectionsconversations

This blog will contain posts from the C2C project staff on a variety of topics related to collections care and disaster preparedness. Enjoy the posts and let us know if you would like additional information or have a topic you would like for us to address.

Posted on November 4, 2011, in disaster preparedness and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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