Do You Know These Three Things About Smoke Detectors?
Chances are you have several smoke detectors hanging in your home. They are the first line of defense for your family in the event of an emergency. Yet the statistics continue to be startling in how little people pay attention to these devices.
According to statistics by the National Fire Protection Agency:
- Almost three out of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes without a smoke detector or without a working detector
- No smoke alarms were present in two out of every five home fire deaths
- In fires in which the smoke alarms were present but didn’t operate, more than two out of five were due to dead batteries
Simple tasks could have saved lives.
By properly installing and maintaining a smoke detector, you can rest assured that you’ve taken an important step in keeping your family safe and protected.
Features You Should Look For
In today’s new homes, smoke alarms are required to be interconnected through hardwiring or wireless signals. This means if one smoke alarm sounds, they all will. This improves the chances of everyone in your family hearing the alarm and making it to safety without injury. If you have an older house, you can purchase new models that allow you to have this feature in any house. Look for interconnectivity between devices; you may have to invest in the same models for them to talk to each other.
Some models also have a built in carbon monoxide detector that will detect dangerous levels of this gas. If your smoke detector doesn’t include this, you’ll want to purchase one and install it separately inside your home.
Where Should You Put Your Smoke Detectors?
Placement is important. According to the NFPA, a smoke detector should be placed inside every bedroom, outside every sleeping area, and on every level of your home, including basements. They should be placed high on the wall, with less than 12 inches from alarm to the ceiling. Never place it in bathrooms with showers or tubs, and keep the unit at least 10 feet from cooking appliances to avoid false triggers.
Like everything in your home, smoke detectors have a useful life. Most smoke detectors will tell you to replace them every ten years. If it has a carbon monoxide detector too, you’ll have to replace it more frequently.
If you have a battery operated detector, the unit may start chirping when the battery is low. Replace them immediately when you hear this sound. If it doesn’t sound a warning sign, calendar battery replacement and do it every year.
You should also test your alarms regularly. You can do this easily by pressing the test button with your finger or the handle of a broom or mop.
Simple procedures go a long way in keeping you safe. When was the last time you tested your smoke detector?