Sunday, August 31, 2008

Smoke Alarm 101

This post I will be going over installing smoke alarms and I why you need smoke alarms, or smoke detectors in your home. The main reason you need a smoke alarm(s) installed in your home is for your own safety of yourself, your family and your house along with all of the valuables inside. And might I mention according to the fire department it is mandatory that you have some working smoke alarms or smoke detectors in your home.

Many times smoke detectors get neglected by home owners through pure laziness or just don’t care, smoke detectors should be tested at least once a month for accuracy, you can either push the button in to see if the beeper beeps, or this is a certain smoke spray that you can spray right onto the smoke detectors itself to set off the alarm, this method will definitely let you know if you smoke alarms or detectors are working.

Why is my smoke alarm chirping?

That chirp, or beep that are you are hearing from your smoke alarm is letting you know that the battery inside is getting low and needs to be changed immediately. Don’t ignore the beep, don’t just take the battery out so the alarm will stop beeping, just replace the damn thing, do not take any chances with the safety of your home and family. There are a few types of smoke alarms out there that are powered by different means, the best types of smoke alarms in my personal opinion are the ones that are both wired and battery operated. That way if you have a power failure the smoke alarm will still be able to detect if there is a fire or not. The battery operated and battery back-up smoke alarms are use a 9-Volt battery, and it is recommended that the battery in the smoke detector is changed once a year, this way you are sure to not hear that annoying beeping and chirping sound and you will know that it has sufficient power to keep your household alert if a fire should start. The wireless smoke alarms are good for places that don't have any power that is ran into that room, and that is the only time that I would use a wireless smoke alarm.

Installing Smoke Alarms

Let me educate you on installing smoke alarms and smoke alarm placement. When installing a wired smoke alarm you are going to need 120 volts running to a junction box, in mostly every case this should have already been done when the house was built. The first thing you need to do when installing smoke alarms is to secure the power, you don’t want to risk the chance of you shocking the crap out of yourself. The new smoke alarm should come with a mounting plate and a wire harness, the mounting plate is to be connected to the junction box by a couple of screws, and the wire harness is connected to the wires by wiring nuts, then you just simply line the grooves from the back of the smoke detector with the mounting plate until its locked in place. Turn the power on and test. Every smoke alarm comes with its own set of instructions for installation so it will vary. Smoke alarm placement should be taken serious, it is not ideal to have a smoke alarm placed right next to a kitchen, if you do then the smoke alarm will be going off every time that you cook. There are range queens for this, which are similar to smoke detectors but that are mounted inside the range hood. You should have a smoke alarm in every bedroom and in every hallway for optimal smoke and fire detection. If you have any questions or concerns on smoke alarms or smoke detectors feel free to leave me a comment.

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