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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Home Smoke Alarms: Will Yours Protect You?

10/13/2019 (Permalink)

Testing a smoke alarm Press the test button in your alarm monthly to ensure proper functioning

Home smoke alarms are required by building codes. This reflects how important they are to warn homeowners of a fire. The goal of a working smoke alarm is to save lives and prevent property loss from fire damage. Three out of four fire-related deaths occur in homes with missing or nonworking smoke alarms. These life-saving units depend on you to make sure they can protect you.

What Your Smoke Alarms Need From You

Your home fire prevention plan is only as good as your smoke alarms. Consider these important elements of alarm care and maintenance.

  • Writing the install date on the alarm so you will always know its age
  • Pressing the test button monthly to ensure proper functioning
  • Replacing batteries annually
  • Vacuuming the alarm exterior to clear dust and lint
  • Replacing alarm units every 10 years


Entering these tasks on your calendar can help remind you of important alarm maintenance.

How To Choose the Best Alarm

While the function of a smoke alarm is to detect smoke, it is not the same as a smoke detector, which detects but does not sound a warning. For home use, you are looking for smoke alarms, not detectors.

Newer homes are required to have interconnected smoke alarms, so if a basement alarm detects smoke, they will all sound. This is essential for larger homes. If your system is not interconnected, wireless models can achieve the same results. They are more expensive but cheaper than rewiring the electrical. Your local fire restoration specialist can help you evaluate your Pelican Bay, FL, location and choose the optimal alarm.

The other important factor when purchasing an alarm is the battery type. Traditional models have removable batteries that need regular replacing. Newer models include a permanent 10-year battery that lasts the life of the unit. If you procrastinate about home maintenance, this may be the safest choice for you.

Your smoke alarms are the most effective tool available for early fire detection. Working alarms can alert you while there is still time to evacuate. Prioritizing smoke alarm care and maintenance could mean the difference between a little smoke damage and major property destruction.

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