WHERE TO PLACE SMOKE DETECTORS IN THE HOME
We often take smoke alarms for granted in keeping our family safe in the event of a fire. Every home has them, but does your home have enough? Are they installed in the proper locations? Are you using the right kind? If you’re unsure about the answers to these questions, this article covers where to best place smoke detectors in your home and other fire safety tips.
PROPERLY PLACE SMOKE DETECTORS
The U.S. Fire Administration strongly encourages having multiple alarms. Place a smoke detector inside and outside of each bedroom and an additional alarm on each level of the house. Don’t place smoke detectors near windows or thin exterior doors. In the event of a fire, drafts from poorly sealed areas can push smoke away from these locations and interfere with the smoke detector’s sensors.
Smoke rises, so smoke alarms should be up high; on ceilings or no more than 10 inches from the ceiling. This increases the chances that you’ll be alerted to a fire early. Additionally, homeowners should make sure they have carbon monoxide detectors on every level, and one near any sleeping area.
TYPES OF SMOKE DETECTORS
When you think of a smoke detector, you probably envision a round, white device that’s powered by a 9-volt battery. While these have been used for years, they’re not perfect. When there’s a false alarm, you usually have to climb on a stool to turn it off. Also, they need to be tested frequently to make sure the batteries work.
Before you run to the hardware store and stock up on these type of alarms, consider investing in a smart alarm. These specialty smoke alarms can be controlled from your smartphone and will send you notifications based on alarm activity. If there’s a false alarm, you can easily disable the detector from your phone. If there is an actual fire, it will alert you on your phone wherever you are.
SMOKE ALARMS FOR THE DEAF
If someone in the house is hard of hearing or deaf, they may not even notice a smoke alarm go off. There’s a wide selection of smoke alarms for the hearing impaired. Some tone at a lower pitch or employ flashing strobe lights instead of noise. It’s also possible to find accessories that supplement existing smoke alarms.
When you place smoke detectors in your home, make sure you’re using ones that will serve the needs of everyone in the household.
PROACTIVE FIRE SAFETY
We’ve covered how to properly place smoke detectors and which to purchase, however, there are still some more things you can do to make sure your home is prepared in case of a fire.
Every month, test and inspect your smoke alarms. If they’re battery-operated, make sure no corrosion has formed in the battery compartment. Even if the batteries aren’t dead, change them at least once a year. If the alarm is hard-wired, it still needs to be tested to make sure it’s working properly.