The safety of every home is ensured by smoke alarms. According to the National Fire Protection Association of the United States, almost 60% of all fire deaths happen in homes without smoke detectors. However, even though these devices are vital, it is equally dangerous to use an old one.
The most fire alarms last between 8 and 10 years. The unit’s effectiveness will decrease after this time, so you may want to replace it. The NFPA mandates that residential smoke alarms be replaced every ten years. Other factors, such as age, can also cause a smoke detector to need to be replaced. This article will discuss how to determine if your smoke alarm is past its useful life span. It also includes how to use properly your smoke alarm so that it lasts a long time.
Let’s first make sure that you know what a smoke alarm does.
What is a smoke detector? How does it differ from a smoke alarm?
These terms are often used interchangeably in relation to protecting homes from fire. In reality, however, they are two different things.
A smoke detector, as the name implies, is a device that detects smoke in your home. The fire alarm on the other hand is a device that receives the signal from the smoke alarm and alerts the people of imminent danger. The alarms are usually loud and clear with flashing lights and high pitch sounds. People with hearing impairments can also receive a warning by using this method. The smoke alarm detects smoke and alerts people nearby.
How can you get to know if your smoke alarm is broken or expired?
Your perfect smoke alarm will soon be gone forever. You will eventually have to give it up and buy a new one. Most cases, the age factor plays a major role in this decision. Because smoke sensors wear down as the device age. You might not be aware that the device isn’t working properly. The electronic part of the device would appear to be working fine, but the sensor inside is not.
If you see the following, it’s time to replace your smoke alarm.
- The device may be more than ten years old. Usually, the date of manufacture and sometimes the expiration date are written on the device. Simply subtract the manufacture date from the device’s age to determine if it is still in use.
- Smoke alarms suddenly go off without warning. It could be that dirt, smoke or other contaminants have caused the device to trip over.
- The device’s expiration date and manufacture date are no longer visible. This is likely because the expiration date has expired. If you see any of these signs, it’s time to replace the smoke alarm.
How can you get the best out of your smoke detectors?
It isn’t just the age of your smoke alarm that can cause it to stop working. It can also malfunction if it is not used properly. These are some tips to avoid this and keep your smoke alarm in top condition to ensure it lasts a long time.
- Make sure you have smoke alarms installed in every bedroom. You should also remember to place them outside the bedrooms.
- Smoke alarms should be installed on all levels of your home.
- Avoid placing smoke alarms in close proximity to bathrooms, ducts and windows. This is to ensure that any steam, drafts or cooking smoke from these areas does not cause a false alarm.
- Smoke alarms should be tested once per month. You can do this by pressing “test” on the device.
- Your smoke alarm batteries should be replaced at least once a year. It is a good idea to replace your smoke alarm batteries every two years if you live in an area with daylight savings time.
- You should replace your batteries immediately if the smoke alarm emits a low signal
- Smoke alarm functionality can be affected by dust and cobwebs. You should clean your smoke alarm and the surrounding area every once in a while. You can use a vacuum extension or a duster to clean up any dust and cobwebs that may be around the device.
- Keep track of the expiration date on your smoke alarm. Importantly, make sure to replace your smoke alarm when the time comes. You might also consider setting a reminder on your calendar to remind you of the date so that you don’t forget it.
Need assistance with smoke detectors?
Are you unsure if your smoke detectors have expired? Or if the detectors that are best for your business or home are working properly? Call QuickShipFire today to find out how they can help you protect your property from fire.