In the event of a disaster such as fire, there is a high risk of obtaining serious injuries, major damage or complete destruction of property, and the possibility of death. For this, it is crucial to have an electrician Brisbane install a smoke alarm in your home to allow for an early detection of a fire. A professional service is important because while a smoke alarm saves lives, it should be properly installed and regularly maintained.
What Are Smoke Alarms and How Do They Work?
Photoelectric and Ionization are the two types of smoke alarms, which differ by the smoke detection sensor they use. The photoelectric smoke alarm uses a light source and a light sensor to locate smoke. It can detect smouldering fires. If it detects the presence of smoke at home, it trips the alarm when the smoke particles enter the detection chamber, as the light on the photocell sensor increases or decreases.
On the other hand, the ionization smoke alarm utilizes ionized particles to identify the presence of smoke. It has the ability to detect fast, open, and aggressive flames. When smoke reaches the ionization chamber, it triggers the alarm when it disrupts the flow of current.
There are smoke alarms available that combine photoelectric and ionization detectors in a single unit, which are called dual sensor smoke alarms.
Features of a Smoke Alarm
Besides the two different types of smoke detection sensors, smoke alarms are powered or interconnected differently. You can find smoke alarms that have voice features and a remote to hush a nuisance alarm.
Know the available options and consider asking your electrician about which type of smoke alarm will work best in your home.
Power.A smoke alarm can be connected to the wiring system of your home, operated by batteries, or a combination of the two. Drained, missing, or disconnected batteries can cause the smoke alarm to fail. With this, make sure to replace the batteries in your smoke alarms, preferably in the spring or fall.
If the smoke alarm in your house starts to chirp, it is an indication of low battery power. Replace the batteries at once because it can make your household unprotected.
In addition, it is essential to inform everyone at home about the importance of having working batteries as well as the danger of removing the batteries. Sealed lithium batteries in smoke alarms can last up to 10 years. It means you must dispose of the entire unit after 10 years.
For houses under construction, the electricians usually connect the smoke alarms to the household wiring. For older homes, the easiest to install are battery powered smoke alarms. Those smoke alarms that are connected to the electrical wiring system of the house and with a backup battery will be beneficial, particularly during power outages.
Therefore, when you are doing a remodelling or renovation project, tell your electrician to upgrade your hard-wired smoke alarms to those with battery back-up.
Interconnection. These interconnected smoke alarms offer increased protection and allow for more escape time in case of a fire. This type of smoke alarm can make all other alarms go off even if only one has detected smoke. For example, a fire in the kitchen will trigger the nearest alarm and sound all the smoke alarms, alerting everyone at home.
Typically, interconnected smoke alarms are installed with the use of wires. But, there are modern innovations that make it possible to interconnect the smoke alarms without using wires. This wireless technology allows for a less expensive and easier upgrade, especially for older homes.
Moreover, when you interconnect your smoke alarms, it is essential that you buy them from the same manufacturer. The alarms may not sound if they are not compatible with each other.
When Should You Install Your Smoke Alarms?
When you decide to install smoke alarms in your house, it should be on every level of your home, including inside the bedrooms, outside sleeping areas, the basement, and near the stairway. In general, you should install the alarms in the middle of the ceiling. If you place them on walls, they should still be near the ceiling.
When an electrician installs your smoke alarms, the expert will also consider other factors besides the placement, such as how many are necessary for your house. Also, consider installing alarms along your fire escape route to aid in limited-visibility conditions.
Everyone in the household must be able to hear the alarms from their rooms and recognize their sounds. This is critical because many deaths from home fires happen at night and at dawn. This is the time when most people are sleeping and vulnerable, making them more at risk of overcoming by smoke before they have the time to escape.
Keep in mind that where you place your smoke detectors at homeisequally important.
Tips for Smoke Alarm Maintenance
Over time, smoke alarms encounter electrical issues, get old, and stop performing well. A routine inspection by an experienced electrician will help ensure that your alarms are functioning efficiently.
Test your alarms.Make sure to test your smoke alarms at least once a month. By doing this, you will know whether the batteries are working properly or dead. Locate the test button at the front of the alarm and press it until you hear a blaring beep.
Clean the alarms. Use a clean cloth to wipe around the unit and remove the dust particles. Use a small brush to clean around the vents. The presence of dust and other debris can hinder the performance of the alarm. Vacuuming dust from the alarms also reduce false alarm incidents.
Replace the battery. It is advisable to replace the alkaline or lead batteries in your smoke alarms every year. These alarms usually detect a low battery and so will produce a short beeping sound for a while. When you hear this, change your batteries right away.
Buy new ones. When your smoke alarms have reached their expiry date, it is time to purchase new units. The expiration date of smoke alarms is 10 years. Even if they seem to be fine, make sure to replace your alarms during such time.