Smoke alarms are vital to have in every household. When properly installed, smoke alarms are the first line of defense during a fire. So, they must be positioned near high-traffic areas of your home and any areas where the chance of a fire breaking out is the highest. With today’s furniture trends, fires can spread more quickly than previously. Understanding the functionality of smoke alarms in your home can prevent terrible situations.
Follow the International Building Code
Smoke alarms can be battery-powered or hard-wired. In addition, battery-operated smoke alarms don’t have to join your home’s electrical system. These alarms are popular due to their cost-effectiveness and easy installation. However, they are only effective when you regularly replace the batteries.
Unfortunately, thousands of deaths occur yearly due to smoke alarms with expired batteries. For this reason, the International Building Code requires fire alarms to be attached to one another and wired to every home’s electrical system. When one alarm goes off, the remaining will go off too. Hence, alerting everyone in the house.
Installing Your Smoke Alarms
According to the NFPA, or National Fire Protection Association, follow these recommendations for positioning smoke alarms in your home.
- Place fire alarms on every level of your home, inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping room, and in the basement.
- Also, install alarms in the living room or close to the stairway to the upper level.
- Smoke alarms positioned in the basement should be on the ceiling at the bottom of your stairs, leading to the next level in your home.
- You should also place fire alarms at least 10 feet from a cooking device or appliance to reduce false alarms.
- Avoid installing fire alarms near doors, windows, or ducts where drafts may interfere with their functionality.
- Never paint your fire alarms. Stickers, paint, or other decorations can keep the alarms from working.
It is prevalent for homeowners to install smoke alarms on their ceilings, but installing them high up on the wall is more effective. This is because some fire types will fill the ceiling areas with chemical gases that push the smoke downward slightly. You can also ensure your smoke alarms will detect smoke as early as possible when they are about 12 inches beneath the ceiling. Remember to consult the building codes for your area when renovating or adding to your home.
Commercial and Residential Fire Prevention from Judd Fire Protection
If you want to ensure your home and business are safe throughout the year, trust Judd Fire Protection, LLC. We have over two decades of experience designing, installing, inspecting, and repairing residential and commercial fire protection systems. We serve clients throughout Maryland, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., Virginia, and West Virginia. If you are interested in finding out more about our services and protecting your home and business, give us a call at 410-871-3480.