Top Tips on Checking Smoke Detectors Before an Emergency

Today’s modern furnishings, according to fire research, allow fire to spread more rapidly compared to more natural materials utilized in the past. One could never be safe enough from a fire incident, which is why most homeowners invest in smoke alarms and detectors. However, equipment like these need proper installation and maintenance in order to effectively protect the home against a fire, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

While working smoke detectors can keep your home or business safe, the consequences of fire damage after an unforeseen event cannot be left to equipment alone. There is also a need to contact skilled fire damage restoration and repair technicians who have the experience and know-how to handle the equipment and the damage professionally, such as the team at ServiceMaster by WrightFire prevention is better than restoration, so here are some tips to ensure your smoke detectors are in good condition today before an emergency happens in Florida.

Why Check Smoke Detectors?

Smoke alarms are among items that can actually save lives. The NFPA reports that “almost three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms (40%) or no smoke alarms that were working (17%).” Smoke and flames spread fast during a fire, and smoke alarms help by giving homeowners and their families, business owners, and employees additional time to escape. Extra time is of paramount importance during a fire evacuation, and the early warning that working smoke alarms provide has a direct impact on people’s survival.

Which Smoke Alarm/Detector Type is Best Suited for My Property in Florida?

Smoke alarms are self-contained devices with smoke detectors, while smoke detectors are strictly sensing devices that operate as an interconnected system. Each smoke alarm/detector type has its own set of advantages, as discussed below.
  • Ionization vs. photoelectric – ionization smoke alarms are more responsive to flaming fires while photoelectric smoke alarms are more responsive to “smoldering fires” or fires that begin with a long period of smoldering. Check the NFPA‘s guide on ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms for more information. The agency recommends to utilize both types of smoke detector technologies to guarantee best protection.
  • Hard-wired vs. battery-operated – hard-wired smoke alarms require electricity and installation by a licensed electrician due to their complicated wiring. Battery-operated smoke alarms are considered less reliable, but they are inexpensive and easy to install. When using a battery-operated one, make sure to check and change the batteries regularly.

Tips on Checking Smoke Alarms

Routine inspection and testing are still important despite advancements in smoke detector technology. ServiceMaster Restore experts list steps in conducting a proper smoke detector check in homes or offices. Read them below.

  1. Test monthly. Check every smoke alarm in the building at least once a month using the integrated test button.
  2. Change the batteries. The NFPA reports that dead batteries caused one-quarter (25%) of smoke alarm failures. With battery-operated smoke alarms, or those with removable batteries, replacement is necessary at least once a year. Do not wait for the maintenance alarm before installing a fresh set of batteries. Upgrade your protection by setting a reminder.
  3. Replace alarms every 10 years. Smoke detection technology advances every year, so to keep the home protected with the latest technology available, replacing the entire smoke detector apparatus is recommended every 10 years. Non-removable lithium batteries only have a 10-year guarantee, so even “long-life” smoke alarms need to be replaced after a decade.
  4. Comply with the rules. The NFPA maintains fire prevention codes and requirements for all types of occupancies. Explore the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code and the Life Safety Code from NFPA for the latest updates and to ensure compliance.
  5. Follow instructions. Smoke detectors usually have model-specific instructions for maintenance and checking provided by the manufacturer. Keep all documentation for reference.
While the remediation professionals at ServiceMaster by Wright are here to help you recover from smoke or fire damage to your home or business, it’s up to you to ensure that proper safety procedures and equipment are in place to keep your family and co-workers safe in the midst of an emergency. Checking smoke alarms regularly and correctly is a critical, a simple measure you can take to help save lives should the unexpected occur.

Contact Southwest Florida's Leading Fire Damage Restoration Company in the Event of a Fire

Fire losses can be critical, so contacting a reliable fire damage repair service is essential to mitigate the damage in a professional manner while cutting the cost of repairs. ServiceMaster by Wright‘s primary objective is to return the damaged property to its pre-existing condition without compromising the environment, health, and safety, and resultant secondary damage within a pre-specified timescale and cost.

Call our IICRC-certified firm at 239-431-9947 for fire damage removal and repair in Bonita SpringsBradentonCape CoralEnglewoodEsteroFort MyersLehigh AcresLongboat KeyNaplesMarco IslandPort CharlottePunta GordaSarasotaSiesta Keyand Venice, Florida.