Many houses with smoke detectors and fire alarm systems also get engulfed in fires leading to huge losses to life and property. In fact the damage caused by a fire in a house with detectors will be much more if the system does not work on time because the residents become complacent after installing such systems and hence, ignore any warnings other than the alarms. The tips mentioned below will make sure that you make the best use of your system.
Correct Place to Install Smoke Detectors
A smoke detector must be installed in each of the sleeping areas and adjoining bedrooms. Every interconnecting hallway must be secured by a detector. Kitchen, basements and staircases should also get covered by detectors. Also, a detector must be installed on a ceiling or wall only.
In case the detector is installed on the ceiling, it must not be more than four inches closer to a wall of corner. In case a wall is used to install a detector, it should be installed at not more than 12 inches away from the ceiling and a gap of 4 inches must be maintained between the wall and the ceiling. Do not install it in a corner. A detector must be placed at a distance more than 20 feet from appliances that produce heat as the heat can damage the detectors.
Thorough Checks and Maintenance
These equipments need timely checks and maintenance as they can get damaged without proper care. Check for dust and other particles that can clog the detectors and damage the equipment. You should check the covers of your equipments properly and replace any damaged one immediately to avoid any damage to the sensitive electronics inside a detector.
Regularly check for batteries and replace any old batteries at the first indication only. If you are in doubt, it is always safer to replace the batteries than to take a risk of not detecting a fire at the right time. You can always check you alarm by pressing the test button to check for batteries as well as overall functioning.
Every smoke alarm must be replaced in ten years and sooner if any irreparable damage is sighted. You can also ask for professional agencies to check the entire system if you have any doubts. Annual maintenance contracts can be made.
Use of Advanced Features
A detector network which is hard-wired and interconnected must be installed to get complete coverage. This is especially important of your building has many floors or is expanded over a large area of land. Also, this system covers garages and stores appropriately. A trigger in any part of the house can be heard throughout the building in an interconnected network.
For the best security for your house, you can also choose a combination of both types of detectors – photoelectric and ionization – as they can detect fires in different ways. Last but not the least, never ignore an alarm even if you doubt that it is a false alarm.