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Smoke Alarm Safety | Installing & Testing Your Smoke Alarms

by Hickerson Brothers on February 24, 2017

Smoke Alarms

Protect Your Family with Smoke Alarms

Do you have working smoke alarms? It could mean the difference between life and death. Smoke alarms are the first line of defense in a house fire. They act as an early warning sign, allowing you enough time to evacuate the premise. While these devices are small and often unnoticed, they could save your life. If you can’t recall the locations of your smoke alarms or when they were last tested, now is the time to act.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, there were 365,500 house fires in 2015 that resulted in 2,650 deaths and over 11,000 injuries. Thirty-eight percent of those who died in a house fire were in a home that either didn’t have smoke alarms, or did but they weren’t working. Purchased items, such as a home and the contents within it, can be replaced. Your loved ones, however, cannot. Don’t risk losing the ones you care most about; ensure that your home is equipped with enough smoke alarms and test them regularly.

How Many Smoke Alarms Are Needed?

It’s not enough to just have one smoke alarm in your home. Since newer homes and modern furnishings are made with fewer natural materials, fires now spread much more rapidly, making it all the more necessary to have plenty of smoke alarms. Most of your furnishings are synthetic, from the curtains and couch to the pillows and backing of your carpet. Watch this video of two rooms, side by side, catching fire. One room is a representation of homes from the 70s and 80s, while the other is a representation of homes built today. With an older home, you have about  17 minutes to escape; but today you have between three and four minutes.

Follow these tips for installing adequate smoke alarms:

  • There should be an alarm inside each bedroom, as well as on the outside of each bedroom door.
  • An alarm should be on every level, including the basement. Install the alarm on the ceiling at the bottom of the stairs.
  • Even if there isn’t a bedroom on one level of the house, you should still install an alarm in the area.
  • There should be an alarm in the living room and kitchen. The kitchen alarm should be 10 feet away from a cooking appliance to prevent false alarms.

Testing Smoke Alarms

Testing your smoke alarms could save your life. We get that it’s a tedious task, but it’s essential that you do it!

Follow these tips for testing and maintaining your alarms:

  • Test your alarms once a month using the test button.
  • If you have a smoke alarm with non-replaceable 10-year batteries, replace the alarm as soon as it’s 10  years old. These alarms are designed to remain effective for only 10 years, so do not risk your chances. If you hear the chirp sound warning the battery is low, replace the alarm immediately.
  • Other smoke alarms should have their batteries replaced once every year. If you hear the chirping sound, replace the batteries immediately.
  • Adhere to your manufacturer’s standards for maintaining your alarms.

If you need any assistance with installing smoke alarms in your home, call a licensed electrician right away! This is a task you simply do not want to forgo. Our professional and adept electricians will ensure that your home meets the standards.

Hickerson Electrical is your source for all home electrical services. We’re ready and willing to deliver top-quality service to your home at a moment’s notice. So call today at (703) 594-3913.

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