With the winter season finally in full swing, everyone tries to keep their homes as cozy as possible. And while the fireplaces, radiators or other such mechanisms keep us protected comfortably in the freezing weather, it also invites a lot of hazards if the homeowners are not careful.
House fires are a pertinent issue that occurs on a frequent basis across the states. As per the data released by National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) for the year 2020, more than 380,000 house fires occurred across the country that resulted in more than 2700 deaths, over 11,000 injuries, and a staggering $7.5 billion worth of property damage. The statistics further state that more than 50 percent of the house-fire fatalities occurred while the home dwellers were asleep, which means that they either didn’t have any smoke detectors or the detectors didn’t work at the time of the catastrophe. Therefore, the importance of smoke detectors is undeniable, as they warn the home dwellers of a potential fire hazard and allow them to ensure their safety in time.
Despite its importance, people often overlook smoke detectors by thinking of them as mundane items. However, if done right, smoke detectors can be true lifesavers for the homeowners. To do it right, you need to bear in mind a couple of important elements:
The alarms should be placed intelligently throughout the house for them to work efficiently. With the clever placement of the alarms, the likelihood of false alarms or the device failing to work reduces significantly. With that said, here’s how you should place the smoke detectors for them to work properly:
- In every bedroom
- Outside every sleeping area
- On every level of home (If the home is multistorey)
- In the large spaces such as living room or the family den, dining room etc.
- Near the stairway
- At a 10-foot distance from the cooking area (to avoid false alarms)
Like all machines, smoke detectors also require your care and attention. As per NAFP reports, over 15 percent of the house-fire fatalities occurred in 2020 due to faulty smoke alarms. These statistics further emphasize on the importance of smoke detection equipment maintenance. With that said, here’s how you maintain your smoke detectors:
- You should test your smoke alarm every month to make sure that the system works properly. You can do so by using a broomstick or a pole to press and hold the test button on your smoke detector until the alarm goes off. In case it doesn’t, check for the batteries.
- You can clean your smoke detector by vacuuming it and using a soft brush to remove the dirt off of your device. This should be done once or twice every six months.
- Insect infestation can be an issue for the smoke alarms. You can use the bug spray around the surface of the smoke detector to keep the insects from nesting inside the device.
- It is ideal to change the batteries in your smoke detector once every 6 months.
- Normally, smoke detectors have a 10 year long lifespan. Therefore, it is ideal to replace the old smoke detectors with new ones after 10 years.
And this is why smoke detectors are a ‘must have’ piece of security equipment, especially during the winter season.