I guess most us have smoke alarms, but when did you last check it works? I did mine on Sunday when I was cooking some sausages for a nice healthy breakfast. I was pleased to hear the screeches from around the house as my pan sizzled …
Smoke Alarms Push The Button, Not Your Luck
However, it is not only a smoke alarm you should have fitted but also a Carbon Monoxide alarm. The reason for this is that Carbon Monoxide is a silent killer. You could actually be suffering from it as you are reading this and not know!
A smoke alarm is an inexpensive way to protect your family from smoke and fire injuries, but you must take the time to test it to ensure that it’s working properly. A properly functioning smoke detector doubles your chance of surviving a fire by warning you of a dangerous situation before it’s too late.Anyway, back to the smoke alarms. Did you know that the Fire Service offers free home safety checks? Well, if you are in Milton Keynes and surrounding areas, you can find out more byclicking here. They’re sure to help you.
For minimum coverage, have at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home and in every sleeping area. You can also add alarms to hallways, the top and bottom of all stairways, and often-forgotten places such as basements, attics, utility rooms, and garages.
Battery-operated: These inexpensive units can easily be installed anywhere. They require frequent inspection to determine the condition of the battery.There are two kinds of smoke alarms:
AC-powered: Installed by an electrician (or those homeowners with a good working knowledge of electricity), these units are much more dependable over the long haul due to their direct-wired power source. But they should have an independent battery backup so that they continue to operate during a blackout or an electrical fire that temporarily interrupts power.
Some newer models have a hush-button feature that silences a nuisance false alarm and desensitizes the unit for a few minutes until the air clears, when it resets itself – I found this really useful when I was cooking the other day! Other high-end models have safety lights that come on when the alarm is activated.
Once a month, use a step ladder or foot stool (or even a broom handle for extra reach) and push the test button. If you don’t hear anything then your battery is dead. If, after changing the battery, the smoke detector is still not working, immediately replace it with a new one.All smoke alarms have a test button that, when pushed, causes the alarm to sound. Also, most have either a blinking or a solid light that glows to let you know that the alarm is getting power.
While battery-operated units have a built-in device that chirps when batteries get low, signalling the need for replacement, common wisdom dictates not waiting until that point. Batteries should be replaced twice a year – once in Spring and once in the Autumn.
Never remove a battery from your smoke alarm for use in another item, such as a radio, toy, or TV remote. Many people do so with every intention of replacing them in short order, only to remember that they forgot while standing and watching their house burn down (if they were lucky enough to escape).
While you’re up checking your battery every month, also brush or vacuum the alarm to keep dirt and dust out of the mechanism. Never use cleaning sprays or solvents that can enter the unit and contaminate sensors.
The button test ensures that the batteries are working. However, it doesn’t tell you whether the detector is operating properly. To find out, put two or three lighted matches together (the wood kitchen type is best) and then blow out the flame, holding the matches so that the smoke wafts up toward the unit. You’ll know pretty quickly if the smoke alarm is working or not!
Until next time …If you need any guidance on smoke alarms then please do call me on 0330 6600264 or click here to ping over an email because it’s better to be safe than sorry, isn’t it?After a period of ten years, a smoke alarm has endured more than 87,000 hours of continuous operation, during which time the internal sensors have probably become contaminated with dust, dirt, and air pollutant residues. If your alarm or detector is more than ten years old, consider replacing it to maintain optimal detection capabilities of deadly smoke in your home.