What you need to know about smoke detectors

House and property fires can quickly become very dangerous. So far in 2018, there have been 13 home fire fatalities in Arizona alone. Understanding the deadly nature of fires can help raise awareness about the danger they can present and the benefit of having enough functional smoke detectors throughout your home.

When the Fullers went to bed one night they smelled no smoke, but a fire was beginning to smolder in their attic. A few hours went by and the fire began to grow. The hard-wired fire alarms in each bedroom and hallway began screaming shrill warnings. The Fuller family rushed outside.

The cause of their fire was an electrical overload. Electrical malfunctions are the leading cause of attic fires in the United States. Fortunately, the family made it to safety in time and were able to call 911. The fire and smoke damage were limited to the attic.

Smoke Detectors Help Save Lives

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) determined three out of five deaths occurring in house fires happened in properties without working smoke detectors. Having functional detectors can help save lives.

The NFPA recommends installing smoke detectors in every bedroom, hallway, and on every level of your home. Manufacturers have even made smoke detectors specifically for attics. The location and placement of attic heat or smoke detectors are critical. Professional installation is recommended.

Significant Improvements in Smoke Detectors

Like anything, smoke detectors do require some maintenance and occasional replacement. Guidelines include:

  • Test every smoke alarm once a month
  • Replace all batteries at least once a year
  • Replace the entire smoke alarm device every ten years or sooner if needed

Interconnecting all of your smoke detectors means that when one sounds an alarm, they all sound. Your local Phoenix-area electrician should manage this type of wiring.

Burned the Popcorn and Set Off the Alarm…Again!

You may be thinking, “I want to connect my smoke detectors, but when I burn something while cooking I’ll have the kitchen alarm and five other alarms to reset!” The good news is smoke alarm technology is getting smarter. Manufacturers are working to create smoke alarms that can distinguish between real fires and cooking smoke or other sources of false alarms.

Hard-Wired vs. Battery Smoke Detectors

Most smoke alarms use battery power. Although the device should signal when the battery is dead or dying regular battery replacement is necessary. Too many people forget to change the batteries leaving their family vulnerable to disaster. When functioning properly, a battery-powered smoke detector will only sound its alarm when smoke is detected in that room.

If you’re building a new home you can consider installing a hard-wired smoke alarm system. They come with a battery backup, in case the electrical connection fails. An interconnected system will alert all of the functioning detectors if a fire starts anywhere in your home.

You need to regularly test and replace both types of smoke detectors.

Turn It On Electric is Your Phoenix Electrician

At Turn It On Electric, we know the importance of new technology in our industry. We value long-term relationships with our Phoenix-area neighbors and customers. We want to be around to serve your children and grandchildren, too.

Contact Turn It On Electric if you have questions about replacing or installing new smoke detectors in your home or business.

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