For less than the cost of a simple lunch, you can buy a smoke alarm that will go a long way to protecting you, your family and your home. Why take the risk?
In this brief article, we discuss the top 3 rules of maintaining smoke alarms.
1. Have a smoke alarm on every level
If you live in a 2 storey property, then you need at least 1 on each floor. If you live in a 3 storey property, then you’ll need 3 in total. Above 4 levels, you’ll be better off purchasing an interlinked smoke alarm, which gives better protection.
As for the location, near a doorway or stairway is a good position, but we sometimes put an additional one outside a kitchen – especially if you have a big hallway.
2. Check the batteries… often!
The number 1 rule of battery powered smoke alarms is to check the batteries.
All BSi standard smoke alarms will have a test button. Simply press the test button and the alarm should stat shrieking. You’ll know if it’s working if you hear a powerful, ear piercing bleating coming from the smoke alarm.
If the sound is really weak or barely audible, then it’s time to head down to the local pound shop and pick yourself up some new batteries.
3. Best position to place a smoke alarm?
Ideally, in areas above head height. We’ve seen some attached to walls or at a low level landing ceiling. While this position is good for changing batteries and testing the alarm, there is a higher chance of it being knocked out of place or tall visitors banging their foreheads against it!
Seven additional tips to maintain a smoke alarm
- Test the smoke alarms every 6 to 8 weeks. You decide, but keep to a routine.
- NEVER remove a battery. If it’s a nuisance, move it away from shower areas or a bit further away from cooking areas if what you cook creates lots of steam or smoke.
- Ensure the ventilation holes on the smoke alarm are free of blockages and debris
- Once in a while, give it a wipe down if it’s in a kitchen. Keep it grease free!
- Change the batteries every year. This goes beyond just checking the batteries – you’re taking affirmative action.
- Vacuum clean the smoke alarms. Most vacuum cleaners have an extension feature, enabling you to reach tough spots and awkward areas.
- Discuss a plan of action with all members of your family in case of fire. Know your route out.