Apr 08

Smoke Detectors and Safety

Q. How many smoke detectors should my home have? And where are the most important places to install them?

A. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are an often overlooked piece of equipment in a home, but in terms of safety they are some of the most important.

The National Fire Protection Association requires a minimum of one smoke alarm for each level of the home, and at least one smoke alarm within 15 feet of all bedroom doors for existing homes. The recommendations for new homes include a smoke alarm within each bedroom in addition to these other standards. Other common locations for increased safety include in or near a kitchen area and basement areas near appliances.

If the smoke detectors in your home look to be older than 10 years, you should consider replacing them. This is because smoke detectors are always on and working, and like any electrical equipment they do wear out over time.

There are two types of smoke alarm that can be installed – battery operated smoke detectors, are easy to install and each one requires a battery to operate. Simply choose the locations where you would like them installed and follow the specifications in the owner’s manual.

The other option is hardwired smoke/carbon monoxide detectors. These devices do not run solely on battery power, but draw power from the home’s electrical supply (with a battery backup for continued operation in the event of a power outage). Additionally, when one detector senses danger, it sets off all of the alarms. This adds a level of safety because no matter where you are in the home, you will be alerted to the condition and will have time to get to safety.

Hardwired detectors are more difficult to install and require knowledge of the equipment as well as local and state ordinances. We have extensive experience installing these systems, though, and can provide estimates and recommendations on placement and number of units to install.

For more information or if you have any questions about hardwired smoke detectors and their installation in your home, call us at (217) 377-7117.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.renaissance-electric.com/2013/04/08/smoke-detectors-and-safety/

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