A properly installed and maintained smoke alarm is the one thing in your home that will alert you and your family to the dangers of a fire.
F.E.M.A. recommends that smoke detectors be replaced every 8 to 10 years due to the fact that manufacturers warranties expire after this time period. Metro Electric’s professional electricians can replace your existing devices and also add new devices to insure your home is protected and up to date.
Every residential, commercial, and public building in Michigan is required to have smoke alarms. There’s a good reason for this particular building code. Three out of every five fire-related deaths that occur each year in America happen in buildings that don’t have working smoke detectors and fire alarms.
Don’t currently have smoke alarms installed in the house? There’s no better time to address this serious oversight than now. Read on to find out everything homeowners need to know about professional Smoke Alarm Installation or call Metro Electric to get started now.
Types of Smoke Alarms
There are two different types of smoke alarms that can be installed in residential homes. Both ionization and photoelectric smoke detectors work well to sense smoke, but they work a little differently.
Ionization Smoke Alarms
Ionization smoke alarms feature a continuous current running between two electrodes. When smoke enters the unit, it interrupts the current, setting off the alarm. Ionization smoke alarms respond very quickly to flaming fires. They’re also more affordable than photoelectric alarms.
Although they work like a charm, ionization alarms have some drawbacks. They can’t distinguish between smoke and steam, which makes them prone to false alarms, especially in or near kitchens and bathrooms. They’re also very sensitive. While that’s a good thing if a real fire has started somewhere in the home, it can be a nuisance for families prone to burning toast.
Photoelectric Smoke Alarms
Photoelectric smoke alarms use light, rather than current, to determine the presence of smoke. A photoelectric smoke detector will create light and introduce it to an internal photocell. When smoke enters the unit, it scatters the light and sets off the alarm.
While ionization smoke detectors respond more quickly to flames, photoelectric smoke alarms respond more quickly to smoldering fires. They’re also much less likely to send out false alarms, making them much less of a nuisance. The primary downsides of photoelectric smoke alarms are their higher cost, their lower ability to quickly detect flaming fires, and the fact that they do not alert homeowners when the batteries are dead.
Smoke Detector Placement
Homes in Romeo, Michigan are required by law to have working smoke detectors, which must be UL listed. At a minimum, there must be one smoke alarm in each bedroom and one on each additional story of the home, including basements. Don’t have smoke detectors placed near doors, windows, or other drafty areas of the home. Center ceiling-mounted units at least six inches away from the walls and wall-mounted units at least one foot below the ceilings.
Smoke detectors should be kept in good working order and should be replaced at least once every ten years. Modern models are hooked up to both electrical systems and battery backups, so replace the batteries annually.
Always Have Smoke Detectors Installed by a Professional
It’s important for homeowners to have their smoke detectors installed by a Professional Electrician. They need to be wired into the home’s electrical system to be up-to-code and most homeowners don’t have the training and experience required to do so safely. Licensed electricians can also assist homeowners with choosing the right type of smoke detectors and ensuring that they are placed correctly to offer maximum protection
Tips for Maintaining Smoke Alarms
While no amount of home maintenance replaces the need for periodic professional inspections, there are a few steps homeowners can take to ensure that their smoke alarms are working as intended. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Smoke detectors should be checked every six months to ensure that they are operating as intended.
- The batteries in each smoke detector should be replaced once a year. Avoid using rechargeable batteries when possible.
- Lightly vacuum smoke detectors once a year to prevent dust from building up in or around them. It can cause false alarms.
- Only remove the batteries when they are ready to be replaced.
- Verify the source of false alarms before turning off the smoke detector.
How to Test a Smoke Alarm
Testing a smoke alarm is easy. Start by pushing the button on the smoke detector to make sure the alarm will sound. Next, place a lit match or candle six inches below the smoke detector, then blow it out. If the smoke does not set off the alarm, it may need to be replaced.
The Bottom Line
Smoke alarm installation is a task best left to the professionals. Call (586) 336-9121 to get in touch with a licensed electrician who can help. Metro Electric’s licensed electricians have years of experience. They are dedicated to keeping themselves informed about recent code updates and current industry standards for fire protection.
If you are not 100% satisfied with the service we have provided, we will refund all of your money. If a repair fails in the first year, we will repair it again absolutely free. If any equipment or fixture fails during normal use in the first year, we will either repair or replace the item at no charge to you.