According to the National Fire Protection Association, U.S. fire departments responded to around 365,500 home fires in 2015. The fires caused $7 billion in damages and injured over 11,000 people. Three out of five home fire deaths occur in homes with either no smoke alarms or non-working alarms, making smoke alarm maintenance an absolute priority for homeowners.
Although we never think that a fire will happen in our home, it is a very real danger. Here are four tips for maintaining your smoke alarm systems in your home or business.
Replace when needed
As a general rule, smoke alarms will need to be fully replaced every decade. Alarms older than ten years have a 30% rate of failure. The batteries in your alarms will need to be replaced yearly unless you are using long-life batteries. But keep in mind that older models are incompatible with the long-life batteries.
Since dust gathers on smoke alarms, vacuum it out annually to make sure the alarms are functioning properly. Finally, you’ll want to install both ionization and photoelectric alarms. These models will detect either fast or slow moving fires and respond accordingly.
Choose the right location
Next, it is important to install your alarms in the correct locations. Although cooking equipment in kitchens is the leading cause of fires, you don’t want to install your alarm system directly over the stove or even too close it it. Otherwise, you’ll set off the alarm every time you cook.
Instead, install the alarm outside the kitchen. Alarms should be installed in bedrooms, outside of bedrooms, in living rooms, and on each level of your house. Every alarm should be regularly checked and maintained.
Build houses up to code
Make sure your house or office meets all local, state, and federal codes for fire safety. Constructing a new building? Connect smoke alarms to the main electrical system. It’s also important to connect the smoke detectors to each other so they will sound alarms throughout the house or office if a fire is detected.
Despite stricter building codes, newer buildings can sometimes be at a greater risk for fire. Since they are more insulated, the flames burn faster and hotter than in older structures. It is important to keep your alarm systems in working condition regardless of the age of the building.
Take other fire safety precautions
Take other fire safety precautions in addition to smoke alarm maintenance to protect your home.Extinguish candles and turn off appliances like stoves or toasters. Make sure to unplug things like heaters, keep them away from curtains or other flammable materials, and never leave them unattended. Lastly, develop a fire escape plan and practice it with family members or employees. Following this plan in an emergency is critical to surviving the fire.
Lastly, installing a security system with fire control features and security cameras can help protect your home or business. A security system from Sonitrol can help protect your property from theft, break-ins, and fire. Our state-of-the-art security systems provide peace of mind and quality assurance.
Talk with an expert on our team at (843) 258-8226 or schedule a free consultation today.