Smoke alarms are an integral aspect of any home structure. They help alert the inhabitants if a fire breaks out in their home and can be instrumental in protecting lives and property as well. In Sydney, it is now mandatory to install these features on every floor of a new home structure.
PLACES WHERE YOU SHOULD INSTALL SMOKE ALARMS
While considering smoke alarms installations on your property there are few points to keep in view. All alarm systems have to be located at a point in your house where everyone can hear them. Installation of smoke alarms depends on the layout of your house.
Since every house differs in one way or another, the smoke alarm positioning needs to be planned in detail before installation. The best spots to install smoke alarms in your home include:
Every level of a multi-storied building.
Outside bedrooms – if they’re located at opposite ends of the house, install one at each end.
Bedroom areas that are separated from the main house, or are connected by a walkway or veranda.
Inside all bedrooms. Especially if the residents use heaters or are smokers.
For the best protection of your house, consider interconnected hardwired smoke alarms. This is extremely useful; if even one alarm is triggered, the alarms installed throughout the house will go off. In case of a fire breakout, this gives residents the necessary time to evacuate the house.
PLACES WHERE YOU SHOULDN’T INSTALL SMOKE ALARMS
False alarms that constantly go off can lead to them becoming damaged. People also tend to remove or disable alarms that sound frequently without reason. To avoid false alarms going off and to maximise their effectiveness, avoid installing smoke alarms in places like:
Inside or outside the kitchen. Even cooking can trigger the alarm system.
Inside or outside bathroom doors, the steam from baths or hot showers can activate the smoke alarm system.
Avoid installing them over fireplaces, water heaters or space heaters.
Near windows that are close to outdoor barbeques.
Above cooling or heating ducts, doors, windows – this can prevent the smoke from reaching the alarm.
THE MAINTENANCE OF SMOKE ALARMS
Recently conducted research indicates that approximately 45% of houses attended by fire services had smoke alarms installed, but that 31% of these devices were dysfunctional. Follow these steps to ensure your smoke alarm systems are in good working condition at all times:
Test the push button every month to ensure that it beeps.
Dust the system with a vacuum cleaner brush.
Batteries need to be changed each year.
If your alarm system is old, consider replacing it with a newer unit that has a 10-year lifespan.
House fires statistically occur a lot more often during winters. Ensure you have a good smoke alarm system to avoid a fire disaster.
If your house has a hard-wired fire alarm system, they do have batteries as back up, the battery needs to be changed as well.
SMOKE ALARMS REPLACEMENT
All smoke alarms have a lifespan of 10 years. Consider replacing them after that timeframe. Most devices have a use-by date printed on them. If the smoke alarm is beeping, despite changing its batteries, consider replacing it with a photo-electric version; these include lithium batteries that last longer. This helps ensure your family’s safety.
EXPERT SMOKE ALARM INSTALLATION
If your smoke alarm system is hardwired or interconnected, you need the help of a licensed professional to carry out the installation or maintenance. Fire dangers have to be taken seriously, as they can be a threat to you and your family.