Smoke detector placement is one of the most important ways to safeguard your home against fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a working smoke alarm reduces your risk of dying in a home fire by more than half. With so much at stake, it is not enough to plunk old batteries into a cheap smoke detector and hope for the best. Most experts recommend that a professional install hardwired and interconnected smoke alarms on each level of your home.
Why Should I Get a Professional to Install Smoke Detectors?
Experts can install smoke detectors and wiring to ensure your fire alarm system is up to code. Whether you have an existing home or new construction, it is best to hire a professional to comply with local regulations and guarantee the reliability of devices throughout the home. For example, a professional can ensure that new units fit into your home hardware and rewire existing units to ensure an interconnected alarm system. Professionals can also conduct a home safety assessment or audit to determine how many smoke detectors you still need and where exactly to place them.
What Types of Smoke Detectors to Professionals Install?
Home services professionals can install all types of smoke detectors. Three of the main smoke detectors types are hardwired, battery-powered, and interconnected units. Hardwired smoke detectors integrate directly into your home’s electrical system. This allows the units to detect problems quickly and respond as efficiently as flipping a light switch. Because of the power circuits involved, you need a trained technician to safely install hardwired smoke detectors. Some hardwired smoke detectors also have battery backups, so they will continue to work in the event of a power outage.
In addition to hardwired smoke detectors, an installation expert can also help you with battery-operated smoke detectors and interconnected smoke detectors. A battery-operated unit uses self-contained batteries to power the device. Battery-operated units fit into a bracket that mounts directly into the wall. Most carbon monoxide (CO) alarms also fall under the category of battery-operated units. Finally, an interconnected unit uses wireless or hardwired power for operation. This type of smoke detector works in conjunction with all other devices in the home. If one of the devices detects fire or smoke, the other alarms receive alerts, and all of them will begin to sound at once. This is a great way to ensure that each occupant can evacuate the home when necessary.
What Is the Recommended Smoke Detector Placement?
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends placing a smoke detector on each level of your home and within each bedroom and hallway. Carbon monoxide detectors should also go on every level and within each bedroom. There are also specifications on the best ways to mount the units. Professional installers have the equipment and expertise to mount the devices correctly. For example, the NFPA recommends that if smoke alarms must go on the ceiling, installers should place them four inches from the wall. Smoke detectors on walls should sit four t to 12 inches from the ceiling. The NFPA advises against placing smoke detectors on windows, near vents, or in drafty areas. Smoke detectors cannot go in humid areas with minimal circulation, nor should they sit in direct sunlight. A smoke detector must also be mounted far enough away from stoves and fireplaces to avoid combustion particles, but it must sit close enough to detect any fire emergencies. With all of the rules involved, it is easy for the average homeowner to miss a step. A trained expert can test vulnerable areas and determine the exact strategy for smoke detector placement.
What Are Other Benefits of Professional Smoke Detector Placement?
In addition to knowledge of fire safety, local codes, and wiring, home services professionals are often experts in building setup and composition. This means that a professional knows exactly how to avoid mounting smoke detectors in areas where they would be ineffective. For example, a professional knows how to avoid dead-air spaces in the corners between ceilings and walls, and they can also help you avoid installation in stuffy areas like crawl spaces. Since smoke detectors come with manufacturer warranties, hiring a professional to install and routinely test, these devices can also help ensure that the warranties remain valid. Any damage from incorrect installation can render a manufacturer warranty null and void.
Another reason to have a professional install and test your smoke detector is that it provides a documented record. Some jurisdictions hold property owners legally liable for losses if they do not have smoke detectors that are functional and code compliant. Finally, a home services expert can help you craft an evacuation plan after installation to give your family greater peace of mind when facing potential emergencies.
Get Help From the Experts Today
Smoke detectors go a long way to protect your home. Given the danger of fires, there is no room for error. Bone Heating & Cooling provides smoke detector installation for homes in Festus and surrounding areas. In addition to smoke alarms for new constructions and existing homes, we also offer fireplace inspection, heating maintenance, and heater repair. Contact Bone Heating & Cooling today for all home services needs.