5 Tips for Maintaining Smoke Alarms
Smoke alarms are essential for keeping a safe home in Ogden, UT. A properly working fire detection system can potentially mean the difference between incurring no damage and sustaining a devastating total loss. Unfortunately, simply having a smoke alarm system isn't enough; you must ensure each unit is always operational and regularly maintained.
Important advices for your family's safety
Put these safety tips into practice to keep your family safe and your structure standing.
1. Invest in Good Quality Detectors
When it comes to your family's safety, penny-pinching is not an option. Research good quality smoke detector systems that have gotten good reviews from users and avoid ones with consistently bad reviews.
2. Test the Units at Least Once a Month
People often forget about their smoke detection system when doing their usual housekeeping. However, testing the units at least once a month can keep you aware of any potential issues with the system so you can correct them immediately. After all, taking a few minutes each month can potentially keep emergency services and the fire damage restoration company away.
3. Replace the Batteries at Least Twice a Year
Replace the batteries in your smoke detectors at least twice a year. This can provide peace of mind knowing your system will be there when you need it. It'll also reduce the risk of that annoying beeping sound that signals a low battery. Keep extra batteries on hand in case you discover you need them.
4. Clean the Units Annually
Dust and debris will accumulate on the individual units over time. This can block the sensors, making the smoke alarm malfunction. Once or twice a year, clean the units carefully with a vacuum hose or damp cloth.
5. Replace the Units Regularly
Unfortunately, like any electronics, your fire detection system won't last forever. Therefore, it's vital to replace the units regularly. Newer fire alarms are built to last longer, with a life expectancy of about 10 years. If you've had your fire detection system for a while, check to see when you purchased them and when the manufacturer suggests replacing them.
Ensure Proper Smoke Detector Installation
- Install units inside each bedroom and outside each sleeping area. Install detectors on every floor of the home, including the basement.
- Place basement alarms on the ceiling at the bottom of the stairway that leads to the next floor.
- Install detectors close to but at least 10 feet from any cooking appliances (if placed closer, false alarms could go off with regular cooking).
- Since smoke rises, install detectors on ceilings or high on walls. They should be placed no further than 12 inches from the ceiling. Never place smoke alarms near windows, doors, vents, etc. Drafts can interfere with the detectors' sensors.
- A system of interconnected units is the best type to install because all the alarms will sound when one goes off.
- Dual sensor smoke alarms are also recommended to detect both flaming and smoldering fires.
One of the most critical things you can do now is to check the functioning of your smoke alarm units. Ensuring they work today could mean the difference between no damage and pure devastation tomorrow.