An important step in protecting your home and keeping your family safe is making sure your smoke alarms are properly working. If you built your home today, current codes in North Carolina require smoke alarms in each sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area near the bedrooms, and on each story of the home, including the basement. If you have a larger home, you may need additional smoke alarms.
Current standards also require that all smoke detectors are interconnected and hardwired. With a hard wired connected system, the activation of one alarm will active all alarms in the home. Each smoke alarm should have a backup power source in case of power interruption.
Maintaining And Replacing Smoke Detectors
Proper maintenance and replacement of your home’s alarms can reduce the risk for smoke alarm failure. Check each smoke detector monthly by pressing the test button on the outside of the case. If your alarm has replaceable batteries, the battery should be replaced once a year. Alarms with non-replaceable 10-year batteries are designed to remain effective up to 10 years. If the alarm with the 10 year battery chirps it is warning that the battery is low. In this case, you should replace the entire unit right away.
When doing home improvement projects, you should never paint, sticker, or decorate the alarm. This could keep the smoke detector from working.
Is It Time To Replace Your Smoke Alarm?
Smoke alarms have a limited life span. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that every alarm in your home be replaced after 10 years. Not sure how old your smoke detector is? Remove the alarm from the ceiling and look on the back of the device for the manufacture date. If it is less than 10 years old and works properly during monthly tests, it’s ok to keep the alarm.
Alarms over 10 years old or alarms that don't work properly during a test (and new batteries do not correct the situation) then it is time to replace the alarm immediately. In older homes you may also want to consider adding additional smoke alarms to meet the current requirements. An electrician can ensure that any new alarms you install are hard wired and work properly with the rest of your smoke alarm system.
Electrical Home Inspections
Ensure whole house comfort and peace of mind with an extended coverage plan from Central Carolina Air Conditioning. When you add whole house coverage to your Policy of Assurance you will receive on plumbing and one electrical inspection each year to ensure your plumbing and electrical systems are working properly.