Without question, every home needs more than one properly working smoke alarm. Most deadly fires occur at night when residents are sleeping and an alarm really can mean the difference between life and death.
It is recommended that you check your smoke alarm each month but with the hustle and bustle of everyday life, that can be a challenge. A simple and helpful way to remember to check your alarms is to test them when you change you clocks twice a year for daylight-savings time.
Testing and Replacing Your Smoke Alarm
- To test your smoke alarm, simply press the test button on each device.
- Replace any alarm that does not respond when tested.
- Replace all smoke alarms every 10 years, no matter what. To determine the age of your smoke alarm, look at the back where you will find the date of manufacture. Smoke alarms should be replaced 10 years from the date of manufacture, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
- When a smoke alarm fails it can usually be attributed to disconnected wires or a dead/missing battery.
- Never take the battery from an alarm and use it in another device.
- When it is time to replace the battery, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s list of batteries on the back of the alarm or consult the owner’s manual. The alarm may not work properly if you deviate from the list.
- There are two types of smoke alarms. An ionization alarm is more responsive to fires with flames while a photoelectric alarm is more responsive to smoldering fires. For the best protection, it is beneficial to use both kinds of alarms within the home.
- Select an alarm that has a label of a recognized testing laboratory.
- According to Cal Fire, smoke alarms should be placed in all sleeping rooms, hallways that lead to sleeping areas, basements and each additional level of your home. They should be mounted on the ceiling four inches from the wall.
- Alarms that have been installed in a basement should be placed on the ceiling above the bottom of the stairs that lead to the next level.
- It is best to keep alarms free from paint and away from drafty areas like windows and vents as these things may cause interference.
At Sebastian, we understand that nothing is more important than the safety of your home and family. That is why we offer monitored smoke/fire and carbon monoxide detectors as an option with our home security systems. Our local, state-of-the-art monitoring center can respond to your alarm within seconds, to help keep your family and protected.
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