Learn About Smoke Alarms


Why should I have a working smoke alarm?

A properly installed and maintained smoke alarm is the only thing in your home that can alert you and your family to a fire 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Whether you’re awake or asleep, a working smoke alarm is constantly on alert, scanning the air for fire and smoke.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in properties without working smoke alarms. A working smoke alarm significantly increases your chances of surviving a deadly home fire.

Did you know that when you are asleep, a house fire is dangerous because:

1) The smell of smoke will not wake you up
2) You can't see the fire or smoke because generally, your eyes are shut (you're asleep)
3) You die (or pass out) of smoke inhalation before you get burnt so you won't feel the fire or smoke.
4) You can't taste fire or smoke

A smoke detector, or smoke alarm, emits a persistent and somewhat annoying sound when affected by smoke. This is why they are so effective. The sound is persistent and annoying enough to wake up most people and allow them to take action earlier, rather than later, in the case of a house fire.

Common Causes Of House Fires

Some of the causes of house fires (both day and night) include:

1) Electrical faults in old wiring.
2) Overloading of electrical outlets.
3) Incorrectly rated fuses installed
4) Unattended or badly located heaters
5) Unattended appliances (ovens, irons, etc)

Installing Smoke Alarms in Single-Family Residences

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), recommends one Smoke Alarm on every floor, in every sleeping area, and in every bedroom. In new construction, the Smoke Alarms must be AC powered and interconnected. More specifically, install Smoke Alarms:

- On every level of your home, including finished attics and basements.
- Inside every bedroom, especially if people sleep with the door partly or completely closed.
- In the hall near every sleeping area. If your home has multiple sleeping areas, install a unit in each. If a hall is more than 40 feet long (12 meters), install a unit at each end.
- At the top of the first-to-second floor stairway, and at the bottom of the basement stairway.

Specific requirements for Smoke Alarm installation vary from state to state and from region to region. Check with your local Fire Department for current requirements in your area.

Smoke alarm maintenance

A smoke alarm only works when it is properly installed and maintained. Depending on how your smoke alarm is powered (9-volt, 10-year lithium, or hardwired), you’ll have to maintain it according to manufacturer’s instructions. General guidelines for smoke alarm maintenance:

Smoke alarm powered by a 9-volt battery (Single Station)

Test the alarm monthly.
Replace the batteries at least once per year.
The entire smoke alarm unit should be replaced every 8-10 years.

Smoke alarm that is hardwired into the home’s electrical system (Interconnected Smoke Detectors)

Test the alarm monthly.
The backup battery should be replaced at least once per year.
The entire smoke alarm unit should be replaced every 8-10 years.

* Remember to replace the battery at least once a year, or immediately after hearing a low battery indicator chirp – extremely important part of the smoke alarm maintenance. Even if your smoke alarm is powered by your home electrical system and the battery is only a back-up, replace it before it becomes too weak to alert you in an emergency and / or when the power goes off.

* You have to make sure that your smoke alarm placement is correct – without it, even a functional alarm might not sound at all.

For more information please contact us

Phone: (201) 848-4808
Fax: (201) 848-4819




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