Smoke alarms are household items that most people take for granted. Most homeowners probably have no idea it exists as long as it doesn’t generate that awful chirping noise when the battery has to be replaced or set off an alarm.
In reality, your smoke alarm is one of the most critical pieces of equipment in your home. When a fire breaks out, it can save your life by alerting you to the danger so you and your loved ones can get out safely. However, even the most basic periodic maintenance is required to keep these pieces running smoothly.
How often can I test my smoke alarm, and where should they be located? Find out in this article.
Where do I Install My Smoke Alarm?
It is advisable to install smoke alarms in every room and corridor on every floor of your house. However, keep them 4 inches away from the wall when installing ceiling-mounted alarms. If mounted on a wall, your alarms should be between 4 and 12 inches from the ceiling. Also, bear in mind that installing an alarm near open windows, vents, or drafty locations is not appropriate. On the other hand, you should contact your local fire department if you’re unsure where to install them. Make use of alarms with strobe lights or bed shakers if any members of your family are deaf.
Does My Smoke Alarm Need Maintenance?
The U.S. Fire Administration recommends that smoke alarms be checked every month. Although, some experts recommend checking them twice a year or every six months, make a calendar for yourself to stay on top of your checkups. With this, you will avoid being startled awake in the night by chirping smoke alarms. The maintenance will give confidence that the batteries have been replaced and that the system is working well before anything goes wrong.
Consider the beginning of the month if you do them monthly. Daylight savings time is a simple method to keep track of the date and time if you check less regularly.
How Often Can I Test My Smoke Alarm?
Every month, make sure the smoke alarms are working correctly by pushing the test buttons. Also, replace the batteries in the alarm at least once a year if they use ordinary batteries; however, if you hear a sudden chirping sound, it is time to replace the battery.
Replace each alarm at least every ten years since the sensors go out. Additionally, smoke alarms are labeled with the manufacturing date. However, if you don’t see a label on the alarm, it indicates it is old and needs replacement.
Smoke alarms have a tougher time detecting smoke when dust and cobwebs cover it up. So, to prolong the life of your alarms, use a vacuum attachment to clean them.
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