- Hardwire Operated
Hardwiring supplies power to the detector from the building's main electrical source and
requires electrical expertise to install. If you are going to invest in hardwired smoke
alarms it is a good idea to find one that also has a battery backup. That way you will
have protection if the electricity is off. That might be an important issue in such cases
where the building may have been struck by lighting or you are using alternative heating
and lighting sources.
Battery powered detectors come with instructions for easy mounting. In about a year some
detectors will begin to emit "beeps" every minute or so, and will keep this up
for a week or longer. This tell the owner that the battery has begun to fall below the
safe minimum of power and should be replaced. The newer models may have a long life
battery that will last up to 10 years. There are also some newer models that are
considered "tamper proof" models and have a battery that is sealed in the
detector. In this case it will require that the unit be replaced. These have an expected
life of approximately 10 years.
Location of Installation
Detector should be placed on ceiling or on the wall 6 to 12 inches from the ceiling.
Multi story homes:
- Detectors should be located on each story of the family living area.
- Basement level smoke detector should be installed in or near basement, not at the top of
To avoid nuisance alarms place detectors:
- Away from furnace or air conditioner vents.
- Away from bathroom to avoid steam.
- Away from cooking area and fireplace.
If a nuisance alarm persists:
- Move detector a few inches in either direction.
- Switch type of detector - i.e., Ionization to Photoelectric.
- Contact your local Fire Department .
Where not to place Detectors
- Detectors should not be placed within 6 inches of where walls and ceilings meet or near
heating and cooling ducts. A detector placed in these areas may not receive the flow of
smoke required to activate.
It is extremely important to regularly test and clean all detectors.
- Replace the batteries
in battery-operated units once a year or in accordance with
the manufacturer's recommendations.
- Teach everyone in your house
to leave working batteries in smoke detectors and
not to use them else where.
- They should not be painted.
- To test and clean a detector,
follow the manufacturer's instructions.
- Cobwebs and dust can impair a detector's sensitivity,
most units should be
vacuumed at least once a year.
What should I do if my alarm sounds?
- A smoke detector in working condition will usually give you at least 3 minutes to
evacuate the house.
- It is important to plan home fire drills before you experience a fire so that
family members know what to do and can move quickly in the event of real fire. It is good
to practice with the lights out since most fires do occur at night.
- Plan and know the escape
route as well as an alternate escape route.
- Especially train children, since they get frightened and tend to hide.
- try to fight the fire yourself.
- Get out of the house as quickly as possible, without panic.
- Plan a meeting place outside the house so you'll know when everyone has escaped.
- Call the Fire Department as soon as you are out of the house from a neighbor's
phone or from the nearest telephone...learn where it is.
- Last modified:
Tuesday, June 19, 2007