Smoke alarms, with proper placement, installation, and maintenance, can detect trouble at the first whiff of smoke, dramatically decreasing the risk of harm in the case of a fire. As one of the first lines of defence in preventing fire damage and staying safe, installing smoke detectors in homes and workplaces is standard practice to ensure the safety of residents and inhabitants.
How Are Smoke Alarms Installed?
Most smoke alarms are battery operated, but some must be hardwired. Installing a battery-operated smoke alarm is simple and can be done by almost anyone. With the aid of small screws to hold the unit in place, these devices are attached to ceilings in the main areas of a property. However, hardwired smoke alarms are more reliable and require a certified electrician to wire them.
When installing a smoke alarm, keep the following in mind:
- Never paint over a smoke alarm.
- Avoid placing the alarm in areas with turbulence caused by fans, doors, windows, air conditioners, or similar appliances. Smoke may not reach the alarm if there is fast paced air movement.
- Never install an alarm in an area with dead air, such as the top of an A-frame ceiling. Smoke may not reach the alarm quickly enough to provide an early warning.
To determine the number of alarms needed and the ideal places for them, be sure to consult a fire safety expert for complex ceiling structures.
Where Should Smoke Alarms Be Installed?
To optimise the warning time in the case of a fire, smoke alarm installation is important, and their effectiveness will decline if they are placed improperly.
- Install smoke alarms in every area, including hallways, bedrooms, living rooms, attics, and basements, for maximum protection. It is also recommended that each floor has at least one smoke alarm if your property has more than one level.
- Each bedroom should have a smoke alarm installed on the ceiling or the wall, as well as in the hallway outside each separate sleeping area.
- Install a smoke alarm at either end of a bedroom and in corridors that are longer than 9 metres (30 ft).
- For multi storey homes, install a smoke alarm on the basement ceiling at the bottom of the stairs if possible.
Key Smoke Alarm Locations:
- Any room where a smoker sleeps or any room where electrical appliances are used while a person is asleep should have a smoke alarm.
- Horizontally spreading smoke, heat, and other combustion by-products rise to the roof. If it is mounted on the ceiling, a smoke alarm functions best when it is in the middle of a space.
- In most residential buildings, ceiling mounting is preferred. However, in mobile homes, wall mounting on an interior partition may be preferred as this prevents the thermal barrier that may
build in the ceiling.
What Kind of Maintenance is Required for Smoke Alarms?
If smoke detector maintenance is conducted properly, it shouldn’t cause any problems and should stay in operation for an extended period of time.
- Monthly: Smoke alarms must be tested on a regular basis. They have a test button that should be depressed (using a broom handle or similar) until the alarm sounds.
- Six months: Smoke alarm servicing is required to check excessive dust and functionality.
- Yearly: For annual smoke alarm maintenance, units should be vacuumed once a year to remove any dust particles that may possibly impair the smoke alarm’s performance. Many battery operated smoke alarms require a battery change every year to ensure the unit is powered.
- Every ten years: All smoke alarms should be replaced every decade. Each smoke alarm should clearly display the date when the alarm will no longer function, also known as the service date.
Installing smoke alarms is an essential step in ensuring the safety of your home and loved ones. If you’re looking for a professional smoke alarm installer or electrician, Hiscocks Electrical has got you covered.
Thanks to more than 20 years of experience in residential and commercial electrical work, Hiscocks Electrical guarantees that your smoke alarms will be fitted correctly and in compliance with Australian safety requirements .