Smoke Detector Maintenance Tips from SERVPRO
You have several appliances, systems, components and products in your home, many of which you use and depend on every day. Perhaps the most important one is something you hope to never need: a smoke alarm. This device is a critical warning mechanism that will alert you if smoke is present in your home. However, if you don't have enough in your house, or if you don't properly maintain them, you could suffer awful consequences if a fire does start.
Proper Alarm Placement, Care
If you move into a new home, you shouldn't have to worry much about whether you have enough alarms. On the other hand, older places might not be up to smoke detector standards. Make sure you adhere to the following:
- Have one alarm in every sleeping room of the house.
- Have one alarm outside each sleeping area.
- Have at least one alarm per floor.
- Make sure you properly install each alarm; have a professional help you if necessary.
For years, fire damage restoration experts have advised homeowners to replace the batteries in each alarm at least once a year. This is a good guideline to follow if you have an older alarm. Newer alarms, however, have a much longer battery life. With these, you'll only have to change the batteries once every 10 years. It is wise to test your alarm monthly. Most models have a function where you can push a button on the device, which will sound the alarm, letting you know the battery is working and that the sound is sufficiently loud.
Whatever you do, never disconnect a smoke alarm. Some homeowners get annoyed when the alarms go off if something is burning on the stove or in the oven. It's unwise to unhook your alarm under any circumstance.
A smoke alarm could save your life someday. Make sure you have the right number in your home and that you replace the batteries properly.