Keeping your family and property safe is a priority for every homeowner. Installing and maintaining smoke detectors is one of the easiest ways to boost safety. Smoke detectors can save lives if a house fire occurs. Here are a few tips on where to install smoke detectors in the home and how to maintain them.
Install Smoke Detectors Throughout the Home
Install detectors on every level of your home. The basement, attic, and garage are no exception. You should also install a device in every bedroom and outside each bedroom to alert anyone sleeping. Install a detector in the kitchen, ten feet away from cooking appliances, to help prevent false alarms while preparing dinner.
Install your smoke detectors on the ceiling or the wall, four to twelve inches from the ceiling. Ceiling fans, HVAC vents, and windows affect airflow and may delay an alarm, so don’t place detectors in these areas.
Test the Devices Monthly
Check that your smoke detectors are in good working order every month. Use the test button to ensure the devices are functioning. If the test alarm doesn’t sound, replace the batteries or the smoke detector.
Replace the Devices Every 10 Years
Smoke detectors lose their sensitivity over time, making them less effective as they age. The sensors in older devices may also become dirty and fail altogether. To keep your family safe, replace your smoke detectors every ten years or earlier if they show signs of damage.
Smoke Detectors in the Home: Keep Them Clean
Dust and debris can accumulate on the sensors of your smoke detectors, rendering them less effective. Clean the devices at least once every six months using a vacuum cleaner or a soft-bristled brush. Remove dust, dirt, and spider webs to keep the sensors working as intended. When tackling home improvements, be careful not to get paint on smoke detectors.
Create a Fire Escape Plan
A functioning smoke detector will alert you in the event of a fire, but it is important to have an evacuation plan. Create an escape plan with your family so everyone knows what to do and where to go if a fire breaks out. Choose a safe place to meet if evacuation is necessary. If you have children, practice the evacuation drill with them.
Install and maintain smoke detectors in your home to protect your loved ones and prevent fire-related damage to your property. Use these tips to keep your detectors in good working condition. Smoke detectors are your first line of defense against fire, and could save your life and property. Take the time to test and maintain them.