Electrical Safety Services
Like any other system, your electrical system needs periodic maintenance and visual inspections to keep it in prime operating condition. The Expert Club is designed to uncover, diagnose, and correct minor problems before they become costly or hazardous. Learn more.
Are Smoke Detectors Protecting Your Family?
Most Fire Related Deaths Occur in Homes Without WORKING Smoke Detectors
Smoke detectors are one of the most important safety devices in your home. If your home has well-maintained smoke detectors, the chances of your family surviving a house fire are greatly increased. According to the National Fire Protection Association, from 2009-2013, nearly 40% of house fire fatalities occurred in homes without working smoke detectors.
Most homes have smoke detectors (also called "smoke alarms") but many times they are not located properly or are not working due to lack of maintenance. Of course, a smoke detector in the wrong location or one that no longer works because it has a dead battery provides no protection for your family.
Maximizing Protection with Smoke Detectors
Your family will have maximum protection if:
1.Your smoke detectors are properly located
2. You replace any batteries at least annually. This includes 9 volt batteries in regular
battery-powered detectors and back-up batteries for detectors wired into your electrical system.
3.You replace the entire smoke detector every 8-10 years (or in the case of long-life lithium batteries, in accordance with manufacturer's instructions).
If a member of your family is hearing-impaired, your home should have special detectors which shine lights or vibrate when they detect smoke.
Can I Install Smoke Detectors Myself?
You can purchase battery-operated smoke detectors from a hardware store and install them yourself. If you decide to install your own smoke detectors, check your local building code for placing them.
The U.S. Fire Administration recommends that detectors wired into your electrical system be installed by a qualified electrician.
How Should Smoke Detectors Be Maintained?
Most smoke detectors start "chirping" when batteries have run down. The U.S. Fire Administration recommends these maintenance steps:
Test all smoke detectors monthly. Additional maintenance depends upon how the detectors are powered. Smoke detectors can be powered by:
Regular (9-volt) batteries. Batteries should be replaced at least annually.
10-year lithium ("long-life") batteries. These are non-replaceable batteries. Instead, when the battery dies, the entire detector should be replaced.
Hard-wired detectors, meaning they're wired into your electrical system. These should have back-up batteries. Replace the back-up batteries annually.
The U.S. Fire Administration recommends that regular battery-powered detectors and hard-wired detectors be replaced every 8-10 years. If you have a 10-year lithium battery, replace in accordance with manufacture instructions.
If your smoke detectors are older than eight years, replace battery-operated detectors with new ones yourself or give us a call for a free estimate on installation of new detectors.
Are Your Smoke Detectors Properly Positioned?
The guidelines given here can help you determine if existing smoke detectors are properly positioned. If you are going to install battery-operated smoke detectors yourself, follow the placement requirements of your local building code.
In general, it's recommended that you have a smoke detector:
1. At each level of your home
2. In each bedroom
3. Within 10-15 feet of the door to each bedroom
Within these general guidelines, smoke detectors should be placed where smoke can be readily detected: high up on walls or on the ceiling (smoke rises) and at a distance from windows, fans, and vents that might blow smoke away from the detector.
If the smoke detector is wired into your electrical system, it should not be on a circuit that can be turned off with a wall switch.
If a smoke detector is placed too close to a kitchen stove or shower, it can be triggered unnecessarily by steam or normal cooking smoke. Better to move it to a different location that also meets general safety guidelines and your local building code requirements.
If you suspect that the placement of your smoke detectors needs improvement, give us a call for a free consultation.
Join the Expert Club today!
The Expert Club is an exclusive safety and savings plan designed to ensure safe and long lasting use of the electrical system in your home. Enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing that an Expert Electrician will regularly test and inspect your electrical system, identifying problems and preventing hazards before they exist. Members receive special benefits, including the following:
Extended two year Warranty on all work completed and five years on complete service replacement packages (with active Expert Club membership).
Biennial Expert Electrical Safety Report
Smoke Detector check & change (up to 5) 9 volt batteries
Receive quarterly updates on seasonal sales & safety update reminders
Discounted Appointment Fees
10% or more off regularly priced services
Members receive priority scheduling