Best Tips On Using Smoke Detectors
Fires are as scary as ever. Within just two minutes, their destructive power can be massive and even fatal. Smoke detectors have been one of the most innovative fire and security solutions of our time.
For home use, whether indoors or outdoors, once a fire is detected, the smoke detector will issue a signal. The signal can be in form of an audio alarm and/or visual light. Most smoke detectors also have a fire suppression mechanism that will help in extinguishing starting flames and avoid the spread of fire, automatically.
Where Can You Place Smoke Detectors?
Every room is prone to fires. This is especially so in rooms where there is some cooking, such as the kitchen, entertainment areas like the living room where there is probably a fireplace, the basement which can be turned into an entertainment area which will also include come cooking, candles and the likes.
You will also need to place smoke detectors in hallways, staircases, and every other room within the house. With enough number of smoke detectors, you will be more likely to survive and suppress a fire ever before it starts.
When Buying Smoke Detectors
- First off, you will need to buy a smoke detector that has been recommended by an authority and has the label of approval. You do not want to get something that does not perform the function that is intended to.
- Read and understand the full description of the smoke detector system. Ask questions if you must. Reach out to the manufacturers instructions either through their website, telephone or physical address.
- Once you purchase your smoke detector, perform tests that will satisfy you. You can initiate a small flame and judge for yourself if the detector is in good working condition. If not, this is the best time to call up the suppliers or manufacturers and have a replacement of the same.
- When purchasing smoke detectors with replaceable batteries, it is advisable that you purchase the batteries at the initial stage. You do not want to be caught up in a situation where your battery is out, and it might take several hours or days before you get other batteries. You never know when a situation might occur.
- It is best to get interconnected smoke detectors. This will mean that if a fire is detected in one room, all interconnected detectors will sound an alarm and alert every occupant of the house from wherever room they are in.
- Also, it is best to get a smoke detector that give you warnings in cases of low battery and carbon monoxide detection. With today’s technology, you can easily get a smoke detector that will ‘talk’ to you and alert you of these threats.
- You will also need to consider the installation of your smoke detectors. You do not want to get a device that is too complicated in terms of installation. Your device should come with easy installation instructions and simple tools to help you mount your device into place.
- You will get the most out of your smoke detector if it has smart compatibility features. This means that your system can send alarm notification to your smart phone and to your local fire department.
Installing Smoke Detectors
- Smoke detectors should be installed in places where they can easily detect and suppress fires. On every level of the room, they should be placed at the ceiling, which is the bottom of the stairs, joining the next room.
- You also don’t want to jump at the sound of an alarm that has been triggered falsely. In areas like the kitchen or fireplaces, smoke detectors should be placed at least 3 meters from the cooking or lighting area. This will minimize the triggers of false alarms.
- Also, install smoke detectors not more than 12 inches
away from the ceiling. Do not place the detectors at hidden areas within your ceilings. In cases where you have decorative ceilings like gypsum, or if your ceiling has a sharp pitch, place the detectors a bit lower, and outside the hidden areas.
- Do not interfere with your smoke detectors. This includes anything like painting or drilling holes when you are trying to mount. These interference may cause your smoke detector system to malfunction.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instruction. They are there for a reason. If it says replace the battery every year, please do so. It does not matter whether your alarm has detected smoke within the year or nor.
Maintaining Smoke Detectors
- It is always advisable to perform routine checks on your smock detector alarms. You can always set out small flames and gauge how your device works. Do this especially if your alarm has never gone off.
- Always replace batteries as soon as you get the alarm to do so. Do not dismiss the notifications. Also, replace your detectors after the suggested amount of time. Most smoke detectors will function well for up to 10 years.
- Clean your smock detectors regularly to clear off any matter that might have accumulated on the smock sensors. Always do this gently and carefully to avoid interfering with the sensors.
- Do not attempt to open up your smoke detector. This will definitely tamper with the device mechanism. You could also be at risk of electric shock.
- Do not spray your smock detector with household cleaning agents or chemicals meant to kill insect.
- It is always advisable to call your local maintenance crew if your smoke detector is giving you problems.
Once The Smoke Detector Sounds an Alarm, What do you do next?
- I. Prior to this, your house occupants should by now know what to do when the alarm goes off. There should not be any panic as panic will cause a lot of confusion. This is the time to stay focused and judge the fire’s potential as quickly as possible.
- II. You should also instruct everyone to exit their rooms and get out of the house calmly but quickly as possible. You’d rather have a false alarm than to risk the entire household gathering to find out if the alarm is false or not.
- III. If the threat is manageable, quickly put out the flame with the right firefighting equipment, such as the fire extinguishers or fire blankets. Remember that these firefighting equipment should always be within reach so as to counter such threats.
- IV. Sometimes, a smoke detector may go off when people are deep asleep in the house. You might not have sufficient time to survey the house especially if you have woken up to find your room filled with smoke. At this point, it is best to crawl on the floor and exit you room as you call out for your loved ones. Ask them to also crawl out of their rooms and get out the house.
V. The above procedures are to be performed as quickly as possible. Remember that carbon monoxide will decrease the body’s oxygen supply. If you suspect that you have inhaled carbon monoxide, try to find the nearest exit as fast as you can, while crawling on the floor.
With no doubt, smoke detectors have played a major role in minimizing fire threats. Studies suggest that up to 50% of fires have been suppressed and avoided altogether with the simple use of smoke detectors.