Smoke Detectors

Smoke Detectors, they are extremely important life saving little nuisances.

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We had some neighbor boys over the other day and I was cooking and the smoke alarm starts ringing, so my kids all jump into well rehearsed action and start opening windows and fanning the smoke alarm.  I look at the boys and they are a little frightened standing by the door ready to escape. I said “don’t tell me you guys don’t use the smoke alarm as a dinner bell?”  They just smiled a little more frightened and then played outside the rest of the time.

But lets be serious, these have saved countless lives and could save countless more if people install them correctly and change the batteries 2 x a year.  What a pain, I know, but when it comes to protecting your families lives, is that really too much to ask?  There are so many different types and laws and preferences on smoke alarms.  My wife just learned that you are supposed to change the smoke detector out every 10 years.  

So what are the different types of smoke detectors?  There are heat detectors and smoke alarms.    Heat detectors  have a lower false alarm rate but they are slower than smoke alarms at detecting fires.  Smoke alarms have different choices also.

So, does it matter where my detectors are and if they are connected to each other.  Absolutely!  many laws require the 120 volt interconnected alarms with the battery back up in case of power outage.   It is especially important for the interconnected in town homes or apartment buildings, and condos, large buildings and shopping strips.

What about Carbon Monoxide/smoke alarms?unknown-1

Definitely!   Every home with at least one fuel-burning appliance/heater, attached garage or fireplace should have a carbon monoxide alarm.  If the home has only one carbon monoxide alarm, it should be in the main bedroom or hallway outside of the sleeping areas.  An alarm should be on every level of the home and in sleeping areas.  Make sure nothing is covering or obstructing the alarm. Test the carbon monoxide alarm once a week by pressing the test/reset button.  Remember, it may be a nuisance but it is for protecting your family.

Well, this has been fun, I am off to check my carbon monoxide alarm!

Disclaimer:   Remember, always call a licensed insured electrical contractor to work on your electrical.  Always check with local and state laws before you do any work.

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