Smoke alarms may very well be the most essential home and business security feature. They provide an early warning of the presence of fire enabling everyone to get out of harm’s way before the blaze spreads.
Here are 10 facts that will help you get the most benefit from your smoke detectors:
1. There are two types of smoke detectors
Photoelectric and ionization. Photoelectric alarms are better at detecting slow-burning, smoldering fires, while the ionization version typically provides a faster response to flames. The ideal home security setup includes a combination of both types.
2. One smoke alarm is not enough
Install one detector on each floor, as well as in hallways outside of bedrooms. Place them on the ceiling or as high up on the wall as possible. Always follow NFPA and manufacturers instructions.
3. Test monthly.
Many detectors have a button built into the unit you can press to hear if the alarm sounds. If it doesn’t, you may need to replace the battery.
4. Replace batteries once a year.
Most detector models also produce a chirping sound that indicates the battery is running low. A good time to replace them is New Year’s Day, as a reminder.
5. Replace smoke alarms every 10 years.
This reduces the likelihood of failure during a fire and gives you access to the latest upgrades in safety technology.
6. Consider interconnecting smoke alarms
When one alarm detects smoke, it will cause all the others in your house to sound as well, increasing the level of protection.
7. Protection against carbon monoxide
An odorless, invisible, highly toxic gas, is another threat to your family’s safety. Consider installing multifunctional smoke alarms that also have carbon monoxide (CO) detection capabilities.
8. Never paint over your alarms.
Paint can block the airflow, making it more difficult for the unit to detect the presence of smoke.
9. Proper installation
Unless you have the necessary expertise, you should have a professional installer handle the task.
10. A comprehensive security system that also includes central monitoring.
When your alarms detect the presence of smoke, it will trigger an alert to a remote monitoring team that can immediately determine the nature of the threat and dispatch first responders to your business. Professional monitoring also reduces the likelihood of false alarms.
Call Millennium Fire and Security today for a free consultation of your business and its smoke and fire alarm needs.