Smoke alarms and detectors have become very popular in homes and places of business, previously being the overlooked device anywhere. They’re a great way to prevent safety hazards from happening on your property – whether it is in an office building, or the kitchen or bedroom at home.
As one of the most important safety tools you can invest in, smoke alarms and detectors need to be maintained to ensure that they are working correctly. Just like any other appliances or gadget, your smoke detectors also need to be looked at every now and then, especially after an actual fire hazard.
You should also know that there are many types of smoke detectors and smoke alarms, and they all come with their individual maintenance needs. Essentially, you need to keep an eye on a few basic things, but depending on the brand you choose and the type of gadget your smoke detector is, keep in mind the company’s guidelines.
Why Should You Maintain Smoke Detectors?
If you want your smoke detector to last, you have to take care of it. And of course, there is also the reason for keeping up with your home safety by having a functioning smoke detector. Even outdated models can work well if you maintain them regularly and clean out old batteries.
Taking care of your smoke detectors will make them go a long way. Not only will you save up on professional repairing costs, but you will avoid the cost of buying a new one if your current device malfunctions.
Besides, smoke alarms have one purpose – to detect a fire hazard. If it is not working properly or maintained, it will fail to do its job, leaving a lot of chances for creating an unnecessarily dangerous situation.
How to Maintain Smoke Alarms
A lot of airborne dust and contaminants can dim your smoke alarm’s ability to detect actual smoke. This means you should regularly dust your home and make sure not a lot of dust, sand or debris is in the vicinity of the smoke alarm. This may also mean you would have to dust away at the walls and ceilings too and check your smoke detector a couple of times a year, and clean it out as well.
Another way you could maintain your alarm is to change batteries regularly. These small portable batteries and cells don’t have a long-lasting life, which means your device won’t get as much power over the long run. Keep changing the batteries regularly because you don’t want your smoke detector to malfunction when a real emergency arises!
Once a month, test out your smoke detectors to reveal any glitches or faults. Most of them come with a test button and if the alarm sound comes on just fine, your device is properly working. You could also carefully test the smoke detector’s sensitivity by using actual smoke – light a match and blow it out quickly so that the trail of smoke left behind can be detected. It’s always a good idea to make sure your devices are still functioning.
When it comes to installing smoke alarms, make sure to install them away from places of steam, like the kitchen or bathroom, or near doors or windows where a draft could set off false alarms. If your smoke detector is close to these places, it could go off at random hours because of either cooking fumes or steam emitted from these areas of your home.
This could make you think there is an actual emergency or that your alarm is malfunctioning, but in reality, it just needs to be placed a few feet further away from these rooms. According to the NFPA smoke alarms should be placed 3 meters away from ovens and stoves, and on every level on the home including the upper floor and basement if there is any.
Keep in mind that every few years, smoke alarms need to be replaced. The reason is that technology becomes outdated and goes through wear and tear over time. There are many types of smoke detectors available in the market for you to choose from if the time has come for you to bid goodbye to your old one.
Smart smoke detectors have a lifespan of around 10 years and come with several smart features built-in, nothing that an ordinary smoke detector would’ve ever featured. They are connected to your smartphones via Wi-Fi connectivity, and send alerts in real-time to your device if the alarm goes off – also pointing to the exact location a potential threat has been detected. Other than that, false alarms can be switched off from your smartphones as well.
It is crucial to maintain the smoke detectors in your homes because a lot of household fires are a result of non-functioning smoke detectors, which could otherwise be taken care of if there is a warning in time. Don’t forget to take a look at your smoke detector today. If you’re interested in the different types of smoke detectors out there, head on over to www.firstenergyhome.com to find out more.