Smoke detectors are one of the most important, and possibly most neglected, devices in the home.
Keeping them up to date, check them regularly, and having them replaced is an important part of home and business maintenance and care.
The maintenance of a sensitive and effective smoke detection system allows for the early detection of any kind of fire threat so that people can be moved to safety as quickly as possible.
While most public awareness campaigns usually focus on residential smoke alarm maintenance, it is equally important to ensure that businesses, large and small, also maintain this essential notification system. Various factors can impact the effectiveness of a smoke alarm and impact its ability to function at optimal level:
- Dust and dirt buildup,
- Vandalism or tampering,
- Lack of monitoring of system connectivity
- Improper installation
- Environmental exposures to temperature, humidity and voltage
- System aging
These factors can pose a serious risk to the integrity of a smoke alarm system and require close and careful attention.
Do your smoke detectors work?
A bit of history and importance of smoke detector maintenance and smoke alarm fire safety to help you and your family stay safe. Over thirty years ago, laws were enacted to make smoke detectors mandatory in all inhabited buildings. These new laws lead to a wave of smoke detector installations. Since then, many smoke detectors haven’t been replaced and require replacement. This is an issue because smoke detectors become less effective ten years after installation. So having faulty smoke detectors is an accident waiting to happen.
Ageing smoke alarms have a 30% failure rate within the first decade. This means your family’s safety has a one in three chance of being compromised in the case of a fire. To the majority of homeowners, this is an unacceptable statistic. Be sure to test your smoke detector to see if it is operational and find out whether your home requires smoke alarms to be replaced.
Which replacement detectors do I need?
Which replacement model you need depends partly on whether the existing detector wires are wired independently or are interconnected. If you aren’t sure what you have, press the test button on one. If all devices go off, they are interconnected, typically linked with a red or orange wire to carry a direct current signal in addition to regular alternating current wires for power. If only one sounds, they are wired independently. If you have interconnected alarms, check the specifications to ensure you get a compatible replacement — or replace all the devices in your home with a single model.
Where Should Smoke Alarms be Installed?
Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of the home, outside sleeping areas, and inside bedrooms.
A smoke alarm should be installed and maintained according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When installing a smoke alarm, many factors influence where you will place the alarm, including how many are to be installed. Consider placing alarms along your escape path to assist in egress in limited-visibility conditions. In general, you should place alarms in the center of a ceiling or, if you place them on a wall, they should be near the ceiling.
Do I need to hire an electrician?
While some tasks, such as monthly testing and changing the battery, can easily be completed by yourself, we believe that installation should always be completed by a professional. There are many reasons to invest in this service.
Electricians can recommend the dest devices
Not every smoke detector is equal in quality and effectiveness. While it may not matter if you buy store-brand bread instead of an expensive loaf, it matters greatly which smoke detector you choose. Electricians know which models are reliable, safe, and up to code.
Electricians can save you money
Although you will pay a service fee in addition to the cost of the smoke detector when hiring an electrician, having a professional do the job can save you a lot of money. Installing a smoke detector can involve some delicate electrical work which can be dangerous and also expensive to get wrong. Faulty wiring can lead to expensive repairs, and depending on where you live, incorrect wiring can even involve some pretty hefty fines for code violations.
Improper installation can also lead to malfunctioning of the device which could mean either dealing with constant repairs or having to purchase a new smoke detector before 10 years has passed. You may be able to save money on labor by doing it yourself, but the cost could be high.
Electricians can fix other problems at the same time
Perhaps you have a light that keeps flickering, an outlet that goes in and out, or a breaker that is continually tripping. These problems, along with many others, can signal a deeper problem with your electrical system. While you are getting your smoke detector replaced, it is a good idea to have your electrician take a look at any other problems and concerns that you have noticed in your home’s electrical system. Having multiple tasks completed at the same time can help save money on labor, and can prevent small problems from turning into larger ones that are more expensive to fix.
Your electrician will be happy to take a look at other areas of your electrical system while performing smoke detector installations. They can check to make sure that everything is functioning optimally and that your electrical system is safe. In addition, they can check for any code infractions that need to be dealt with.
Cove Power performs smoke detector replacement and smoke detector repair. We have years of experience in the field of electrical wiring. If you have broken smoke alarms in your home, you run the risk of property damage and the safety of loved ones. If you believe your families safety might be at risk, call Cove Power today for information regarding the safety of your home.