Using Smoke Detectors to Protect Your Family
The Majority of Fire Related Deaths Occur In Homes Without Functioning Smoke Detectors
Although they are very low profile, smoke detectors are incredibly important to the safety of your home. The chances of surviving a house fire are much higher when you have working smoke detectors in your home. Believe it or not, 66% of house fire fatalities occur in homes that do not have working smoke detectors.
Although the majority of homes have smoke detectors in them, oftentimes, they are placed incorrectly or are not functioning properly. In these cases, your smoke detector offers you and your family very little to no protection.
Getting The Best Protection
Make sure to:
- Place smoke detectors at the proper locations
- Change your batteries at least once a year. This goes for batteries in battery powered units as well as the back up batteries in hardwired smoke alarms.
- Replace your smoke alarms once every 8-10 years. (If your detector has a long life battery, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations)
- Make sure your detectors are designed for any hearing impaired family members.
Can I Do This Myself?
Battery powered smoke detectors are very easy to install yourself. Make sure that you consult with local building codes to ensure that you place them properly.
If you want to use hardwired smoke detectors, it is recommended by the U.S. Fire Administration that you use a licensed electrician for installation.
How much will it cost?
This all depends on which style of smoke detector you choose. Prices typically range between $10-$40 per unit.
How do I maintain them?
Your smoke detector is most likely designed to chirp whenever the batteries are running low. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, you should take the following maintenance steps:
All smoke detectors should be checked monthly. Depending on the way the detectors are powered, more maintenance may be required. This includes:
- 9-volt battery powered units. Replace these at least once a year.
- 10-year lithium battery powered units. You cannot replace these batteries, so you will need to replace the entire unit according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Hardwired detectors are connected to your electrical system. These have backup batteries that should be changed annually.
In the case of standard 9-volt powered or hardwired units, it is recommended that you change them every 8-10 years. Replace any long life battery units according to manufacturer’s recommendations.
If you have any outdated smoke detectors in your home, replace them with new units as soon as possible. Please give us a call for a free estimate on installing them.
How do I know if my smoke detectors are properly located?
Continue reading for guidance on making sure that your smoke detectors are properly placed. When installing battery powered smoke alarms, always make sure to place them according to local building codes.
It is recommended that smoke detectors are placed:
- On each level of your house
- One unit in each bedroom
- Units should be within 10-15 feet of the door in your bedrooms
Additionally, you should always install your smoke detectors in places that smoke will typically gather. This means placing them high on walls, or on the ceiling and away from fans and windows that may obstruct the flow of smoke to your detector.
Smoke detectors that are hardwired into your electrical system should never be on circuits that can be shut off with a wall switch.
Always make sure to place units away from showers, baths, and kitchen stoves. These can cause false alarms as a result of steam and low levels of cooking smoke. If you have smoke detectors in any of these locations, move these units to a new location in accordance with our recommendations.
If you would like for us to make sure that your smoke detectors are properly placed, or to help you install new ones, please call to talk to our in-office technician today.