Smoke detectors sound an alarm to warn your family about a house fire. A National Fire Protection Association study between 2012-2016 showed that twice as many people died in house fires when there were no working smoke detectors in the home. Smoke detector placement, maintenance, performance, and type of unit are all factors in your family’s safety. 

Smoke Detector Placement

Install smoke detectors on every level of your home. Place units inside and outside of each bedroom and in any common areas of the home.

Be sure to place smoke detectors in laundry rooms and 10 feet away from cooking appliances in your kitchen to prevent false alarms. Depending on the size of your home, you may also want to place alarms in hallways and stairways.

Smoke Detector Maintenance

Dust and other pollutants can impact fire alarm performance, so be sure to keep your smoke detectors clean. Dusting will help, but it’s best to periodically perform a more thorough cleaning. A simple Google search will show tutorials on how to clean your specific device.

Make sure to replace your batteries once or twice annually if your detectors are not hard-wired. Most smoke detectors typically have a lifespan of 8 to 10 years. If your smoke detectors are older than 10 years, replace them with newer models.

Testing Your Smoke Detectors

Once you have installed all of the smoke detectors, press the test button on each device so you know that they are working correctly. Test your smoke detectors once a month. Some smart detectors on the market are self-testing, but experts recommend conducting your own tests to be extra safe.

Make sure everyone in your household knows where the smoke detectors are located and how they sound when the alarm goes off. This is also a great time to put together an emergency evacuation plan for your family.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Carbon monoxide detectors warn you of unsafe levels of carbon monoxide gas in your home. Carbon monoxide poisoning can be deadly. The beginning stages of carbon monoxide poisoning show no symptoms, so a detector is the only way to know if you have a problem.

There are many combination devices on the market with both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. It’s worth paying just a bit more to protect your family from both threats.

While smoke detector placement in your home is an essential step, following the other tips above will help keep your family safe.

House Doctor Home Inspection offers home inspection services to Rhode Island. Contact us to request an appointment.