Are Smoke Detectors Protecting Your Family?
Smoke detectors are the most important safety feature in your house. A smoke detector that is working properly can increase your family’s chances of surviving a house fire. Sadly, most home fire fatalities occur in homes that do not have working smoke detectors. In fact, between 2003 and 2006, 66 percent of the fatalities caused by a house fire were in homes without working smoke detectors.
In many cases, homes have smoke detectors or smoke alarms, but they are not working properly or do not have batteries. Another problem are the detectors being put in the wrong places. An improperly placed smoke detector is just as dangerous as one that isn’t working at all.
Getting the Best Protection from Your Smoke Detectors
You can maximize your smoke detectors by doing the following;
- Replace batteries every 6 months or at least every 12 months
- The smoke detectors are properly located
- Families with somebody who is hearing impaired should have special detectors designed for those with hearing impairments
- Replace smoke detectors every 8 to 10 years
- If using a lithium battery, which lasts up to 10 years, replace the entire smoke detector at the 10 year mark or when the battery dies
- Ensure hard-wired systems have backup batteries; the batteries should be replaced annually
Smoke Detector Installation
You can install battery-powered smoke detectors yourself. Just make sure you place them in effective locations. If you are opting for the detectors that are wired directly into your home’s main power, it is best to have the installation completed by a certified electrician.
Cost of Smoke Detectors
The cost of a smoke detector ranges from $10 to $40 depending on the type. If you are opting for hard-wired detectors this does not include the installation cost.
Proper Placement of Smoke Detectors
If you are installing your own battery-powered smoke detectors, follow these guidelines.
- A smoke detector should be installed on each level of the home
- In each bedroom
- Within 10 to 15 feet of each bedroom door
- On the ceiling or high up on the walls where the smoke will rise
- Place the detectors away from ceiling fans or windows that will blow the smoke away from the detector
- Place the detector away from the stove or toaster where it may be set off often, this applies to the bathroom where hot showers could set it off
- Hard-wired detectors should not be installed on a circuit that can be shut off with a switch
If you are not sure about the placement of your smoke detectors, give our office a call for a free consultation.