You can significantly reduce chances of injury or death with the proper installation and maintenance of smoke detectors in your home. In fact, since smoke alarms were introduced and have become required in most states, fire fatalities in the U.S. have significantly declined. As of 2017, More than 90% of U.S. homes have at least one smoke detector.
Knowing that, you should always make sure that your smoke detectors are properly installed and maintained. Smoke detectors can be powered by batteries or also hard-wired and inter-connected throughout your home. Wired smoke detectors are always recommended due to their ability to sound all alarms in your home should one detect smoke. Plus, the hard-wired versions with battery back-ups are more reliable and will work even in the event of a power outage.
Where Should You Install Your Home’s Smoke Alarms?
According to the experts at the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), it’s crucial that you have several smoke alarms in your home and ensure they’re located properly. Research has shown that because of the composition of today’s modern furnishings (synthetics vs. the all-natural materials of the past), fires spread more quickly, making it essential that your smoke detectors provide sufficient time for all family members and pets to escape a fire.
You should have smoke alarms installed inside every bedroom, outside every bedroom, and on every level of your home, including the basement. On floors where there are no bedrooms, install a smoke alarm in the living room (or den or family room) and the kitchen. The kitchen’s smoke alarm should be located at least 10 feet from your stove or cook top to avoid false alarms from cooking steam and smoke. Install the basement’s smoke alarm on the ceiling at the foot of the stairs.
Be sure to install smoke alarms high on walls (within 1 foot of the ceiling) or on the ceiling since smoke rises. If your home has pitched ceilings, install the alarms within 3 feet of the peak, but not within the top four inches within the peak, according the NFPA.
Never install a smoke alarm near a window, door or a duct since drafts can interfere with their effectiveness.
Maintaining Your Smoke Alarms
In order to ensure effectiveness and reliability, it’s important to test your alarms monthly to make sure they’re functioning properly. (Use the test button on the alarm.) Otherwise, maintain the alarms according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Replace your smoke alarms every 10 years, even if testing confirms that they’re still working.
Choose the Best Protection
For the maximum level of protection, the NFPA recommends that you install hard-wired smoke alarms that are inter-connected and all made by the same manufacturer installed in your home.
In addition, it’s a good idea to have several of each of the two types of smoke alarms available — an ionization smoke alarm and a photoelectric smoke alarm. The ionization type is especially good at detecting flames, while the photoelectric type is better at detecting smoke.
Have a Plan
In conjunction with smoke alarm installation, make sure that everyone in your home knows the sound of your smoke alarm and is aware of a designated place to meet outside your home should a fire occur. This is essential so that you can ascertain that everyone has made it out of the house safely! If you have a pet, you can get pet-safety decals from your local SPCA to alert fire and rescue personnel of their presence in case of a fire when you’re not at home.
Installing Your Smoke Alarms
For your safety and reliable operation, wiring and Installation of smoke alarms should always be performed by a licensed, insured electrician such as Penny Electric of Southern Nevada. Don’t put off ensuring your family’s safety until another day! Contact us for a free service estimate today!