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Keeping your smoke detectors working

How old are the smoke detectors in your home?

When is the last time you changed the battery? If your answer the questions above is “I’m not sure” or “I can’t remember” you are not alone; many people often forget to keep up with their property’s fire alarms and smoke detectors. It can be easy to forget to check if the smoke detectors are functional, have working batteries, and are properly installed. However Smoke detectors are an important line of defense in fire safety.

Many people are unaware of how old the smoke detectors in their homes actually are.
However, smoke detectors over 10 years old need to be replaced. After 10 years the reliability and functionality of smoke detectors begins to deteriorate. In fact, smoke detectors 10 years or older have a 30% chance of failure. If your smoke detectors look yellowed or cracked they may be too old and will need replacing. It is also advisable to replace smoke detectors when moving into a previously occupied property.

Checking the smoke detector is an easy process that should be done at least once a month. Your smoke detector should have a conveniently labeled test button. You simply stand on chair, ladder, step stool, or something stable to reach your smoke detector and press the button. The alarm will sound indicating that the smoke detector’s batteries are working. If the alarm does not sound, replace the batteries and try the test again. If it still doesn’t work, then it is time to replace that smoke detector unit.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, every home should have smoke detectors and smoke alarms both inside and directly outside of sleep areas and other dwellings, like bedrooms. Every floor should have a smoke detector, even the basement.

There are two types of smoke detectors. One type of fire alarm is called, photoelectric alarms, which are designed to quickly sense slower burning fires that produce smoke. The other major type is called Ionization alarms. In the case of the category of alarm, this is meant to sense fast moving flames and fires that escalate quickly. The USFA (United States Fire Association) recommends to have both installed in your property to get the best possible fire detection.

If you are unsure about the status and placements of your smoke alarms you can contact your local electricians at MM Electric at 732-749-3596. They are officially recognized by the National Fire Protection Association and have over 10 years of experience with all things electric. MM Electric is based in Wall, Belmar and Spring Lake, NJ and service the central New Jersey area and Monmouth County, New Jersey. They also service Ocean County, New Jersey. They are fully licensed, insured and available 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

MM Electrics provide services for residential, commercial, and industrial properties.