Smoke Alarms and Fire Prevention (S.A.F.E.)

Have you ever thought, "I don't need a smoke alarm. I'll smell the smoke and wake up?" If so, there are some things you need to know: 

  • When you go to sleep, your sense of smell goes to sleep too. 
  • Smoke created by fire contains a deadly gas called carbon monoxide, which is odorless and colorless. As you breathe, it puts you into a deeper sleep and can kill you. 

A smoke alarm can alert you to a fire in time to save your life. But remember, the alarm is only the warning - you need to develop and practice an escape plan, so everyone in your household can escape.

Volunteer installing a smoke alarm in a Greenville home

Important Smoke Alarm Tips

  • Place a smoke alarm in every bedroom, in the hallway and on each level of your home.
  • Some smoke alarms are specifically designed for kitchens or bathrooms to avoid false alarms.
  • Install the smoke alarm on the ceiling, at least 4 inches from the wall.  
  • To avoid delays or false alarms, do not place a smoke alarm within 3 feet of an air supply register or near fireplaces and wood stoves.
  • Test your smoke alarms monthly and change the battery at least twice a year or sooner if the smoke alarm signals a low battery. Daylight Saving Time is a good reminder - when you change your clocks, change your batteries.
  • If you hear a chirping noise, usually every 60 seconds, the battery is dying. Change the battery immediately. Once the battery is dead, you have no protection.
  • If your smoke alarm is sounding continuously, call 911.

Free Smoke Alarms

The Greenville City Fire Department provides smoke alarms and installation, free of charge, to city residents. Use the city address locator to verify you live in the city limits.

If you feel your smoke alarm is not functioning properly, you cannot afford an alarm or do not have an alarm, please use our Smoke Alarm Request Form or call 864-232-2273 to request a smoke alarm appointment.


Smoke Alarms for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing

These smoke alarms, commonly called "bed-shakers," are not actually smoke alarms. Rather, they work with smoke alarms in the home to notify deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals of a possible life-threatening fire emergency. 

Fire Safe South Carolina provides this life-saving technology to qualified applicants. Download the Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing Smoke Alarm Program Application (PDF).