Smoke alarms are common features in many American homes to a point where many people often forget they have them already installed; not until an accident has occurred. Nevertheless, a smoke detector is a very important gadget or system to have that can even save your life. It is also important to remember that a fire alarm is a very affordable way to protect your home and family against fire and harmful fumes (smoke).
A smoke alarm detects signs of five minutes before a person, which gives you and your family time to be safe. However, just like any other system, they need maintenance to work efficiently. This is a fact that has been proven by the National Fire Protection Association. According to their finding, 3 out of 5 fire-related deaths at home occur in a home with no fire detectors. The same report also mentioned that 23% of all home fire cases had smoke detectors that were not working.
For this reason, it is wise to check your smoke detectors often. However, the million-dollar question is, how do you go about the whole process? Click here to learn about services offered by residential electricians.
According to the United States Fire Administration (USFA), it is wise to check your fire alarm at least once every month. This time frame is enough to identify problems with your smoke detector, which reduces the risk of it malfunctioning. You should check your fire detector often if:
- It is old or getting older
- Constantly emits short beeps or give false alarms
- Manufacturers guide
- If it is worn
- The type of detector you have (battery or AC powered)
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Basic smoke alarm maintenance is not enough; you should always test your device. The truth is that testing a smoke detector is very easy than you think. As a matter of facts, it will only take you a few minutes every month. At the same time, you should also consult your manufacturer’s requirements to know how to go about the whole process.
You can test your smoke detector using the following instructions:
- Perform a visual inspection to ensure that it is debris and dust free and not blocking the air entry point or damage.
- Press and hold the button which will trigger the loud siren. If you do not hear any sound or the sound is too low, then you should replace its battery. If still the unit does not work after replacing the battery, then you should replace the entire unit.
- It is wise to ensure the sound can be heard from every room in your home. You can do this test with the help of your family. As them to walk around the house when testing to know if it can be heard from every corner.
- You should also test it by presenting it with actual smoke. Even though pressing the button will help you test, where the batteries need replacing, using smoke test, will help you know if the unit works as intended.
When To Replace It
Aside from performing basic maintenance and testing your system often, you should know when it is time to replace it. Well, according to the National Fire Protection Association, a smoke alarm should be replaced after every 10 years.
Learn more about testing and tagging of electrical equipment.