Wright Way Contracting, LLC
Jan 9, 2014
We have talked about checking smoke detector batteries. Most of the time smoke detectors are required to be hard wired, and in many areas, required to be interconnected, which means they are hooked up together so if one goes off in a back area of the house the one near you in the front of the house will sound as well.
Make sure you know what you have, how it works, and an what is required before making changes. Weather battery or hard wired with a battery back up, the life of a smoke detector is between 7-10 years. When changing batteries, that is a great time to check the age of your smoke detectors. Most of the time they will be stamped with the date on the side that mounts against the wall. If date is not present, use your judgement. if your white plastic on your smoke detector has started to yellow, this is a good indication you are well past time to replace.
When you replace your smoke detectors, lookinto what your local code is for your home or building type. If you are required to have interconnected smoke detectors, they now make battery operated smoke detectors that are inter connected wirelessly, or if you already have wired smoke detectors, you're best protection is to replace with the same. When interconnectin you must use the same type throughout the home, as they communicate with each other to work properly.
If you are able to replace with simple battery only smoke detector, they now make lithium battery smoke detectors with a 10 year life. You simply install it, and there is no battery to change for 10 years. When the smoke detector chirps due to low battery after 10 years, you simply replace with a new one. Some smoke detectors can be expensive, depending on your requirements, but if you keep it in perspective that its a pretty cheap way to save your home, belongings, and quite posiibly your life.
While testing or updating smoke detectors, the same should be done with carbon monoxide alarms. Some smoke detectors have a dual purpose with carbon monoxide alarms built in as well. If your home uses gas at all for heat, or hot water, etc., I would recommend installing a carbon monoxide alarm if you are not already required to have one. Don't put off at least checking that these items are all working properly in your home and taking action right away when in doubt. If you are reading this blog, then you know how to use a computer, and most areas code requirements are posted online, or even have a fire marshall page with suggestions for your smoke alarm requirements. Happy New Year!