Smoke Detector Installation La Plata MD
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Smoke Detector Installation
A smoke detector is one of the requirements of home safety. Obviously a device that can detect smoke, smoke detectors are rather convenient to have since it provides you with the ample warning in case of a fire or the presence of smoke. Although the United States Fire Administration advises everyone to have a smoke detector, the warning is falling to deaf ears, at least for some families. They do not see the sense of having a smoke detector, thinking that a home smoke detector is only a waste of time and that one can surely sense the presence of smoke and fire during such emergency situations. However, that’s obviously not the case.
In America, more than 90 percent of the homeowners have a home smoke detector. Unfortunately, more than 30 percent of this number has non-working smoke detectors due to battery failure. This is rather unfortunate, as smoke detectors can indeed save lives. So what is the proper process of smoke detector installation, and what are the other things one should remember about the use of a home smoke detector with relation to home safety? Here are some steps, reminders, and pointers.
Types of smoke detectors
Before you consider the smoke detector installation, it is first important to understand how the smoke detector works and what the types of smoke detectors available in the market are.
There are basically two types of smoke detectors, both of which work differently since they have different functions. The first and perhaps the most common is the photoelectric smoke detector. This alarm detects smoky fires better. Also called an optical smoke detector, this one works as a light sensor more than an actual “smoke detector.” But what does that mean? The photoelectric smoke detector has a lens that collimates light. When an area is smoke free, its light will pass in a straight line. However, when there is smoke, the light is scattered due to the smoke. This will trigger the alarm.
Meanwhile, the ionization smoke detector can detect fast moving fires better. This is because it has the tendency to detect even the smallest particles of smoke, making it rather effective and useful during fast fires. Obviously, this is because fast fires do not make smoke that easily. When there’s a large amount of smoke in the building, in the case of quick fires, the alarm may no longer be enough to save its residents. The problem with this smoke detector, however, is that it is less accurate. Since it can detect small smoke particles, the alarm may be triggered even without an actual fire. The ionization smoke detector is also known to be cheaper.
So what should you get? Because you’ll never know what kind of fire can hit you, it is best to actually install both just to be safe. Of course, you can save money and time if you get dual sensor smoke detectors instead. The dual sensor detector can work for both fast and smoky fire. In a way, that means double protection.
Smoke detector installation
Is smoke detector installation difficult? In a way, it is and it isn’t. When your are installing hardwired smoke detectors, it’ll probably be too difficult for someone unversed in electric circuitry, since, in this case, the smoke detector is connected to the home’s electric circuit. The case is different, however, for the battery-powered smoke detector. The battery-powered smoke detector is so much easier to install and can be done by anyone who knows how to use a screwdriver.
So what do you do? Simple: simply hold your detector against the ceiling and screw it into place. Of course, different smoke detectors would mean different procedures, although that’s basically the installation process for a battery-powered smoke detector. Again, this is because it works independently thanks to the use of the battery as the power source. Some hardwired smoke detectors have battery back ups (in case your power system is down during the fire, to ensure the detector will still the alarm), although, in essence, it doesn’t matter which among the two you choose, as long as you make sure they work properly.
Speaking of which, there are a number of ways you can ensure the smoke detector will work at all times, especially if it is battery-operated.
For instance, you should change your smoke detector’s batteries at least once a year. Also, when you replace the batteries, you might as well check whether the detectors still work or not. A tip: pick a particular holiday or easy to remember date (say, your birthday or Christmas) and change the batteries during this time. With this, you won’t forget to replace the batteries. Smoke detectors usually last for five to eight years, after which you will have to replace them with new units. Take note of the date when you bought your smoke detector so you’ll know when you replace the units.
Where should you install the alarm? It’s best to install the alarm at every level of your home in order to detect smoke and fire wherever it starts. Also, install an alarm inside and outside the sleeping areas to ensure that you’ll hear the alarm once it is triggered. Place the alarm in an elevated area; smoke rises, so it can detect the smoke better in a high area rather than a low one. Many people make the mistake of removing the batteries of the smoke detector while cooking. This should be avoided; you might forget to replace or return the batteries.
Besides the smoke detector, it is best to have other home safety plans in case of a fire emergency. For instance, your family should have a clear escape plan in case of fires. Where should you exit and what should you bring? These should be indicated in the plan. Know the emergency numbers you can call and consider water sprinkles (which are great for internal fire prevention). You where the fire extinguisher is (if you don’t have one, now is the right time to buy one) and other necessary items. Remember: while prevention is better the cure, it’s still important to have a plan once prevention fails.