Installing smoke detectors is your family’s first line of defence against fire-related injuries, and it can even be the difference between life and death in some cases. According to a 2012 study, residential fires accounted for nearly 74 percent of fire-related injuries in British Columbia. With the help of a certified and trained electrician, you can protect your family from the risk of fire. Here’s what you need to know about this life-saving device and how you can keep it functioning correctly.
How Long Do Smoke Detectors Last?
The life expectancy of smoke detectors typically is 10 years. Older smoke detectors can lose sensitivity, hindering their ability to sense the presence of fire. Remember, the test button only reveals that the power supply and alert system are working; it doesn’t mean that the actual sensor is functioning. Testing your unit once per month is essential when determining whether it’s time to replace your system.
How to Test Your Smoke Detector
Thoroughly testing a smoke detector involves checking the actual alarm, the smoke sensor, and the power supply. Here’s how to check each component of your system:
- Testing the alarm: Enlist the help of a friend to ensure the alarm is loud enough to be heard across your home. Push the button on the alarm, which should sound immediately. Have your friend stand in various places in the home – remember, the alarm should be so loud that it would awaken even a very deep sleeper.
- Testing the smoke sensor: Using an inexpensive aerosol spray designed for smoke detectors will help you determine whether the smoke sensor is working properly. Spray the substance near the device, which should cause the alarm to sound.
- Testing the power supply: Some smoke detectors are equipped with a light that indicates the device is receiving power. If the light is off and the device does not emit sound, there may be a problem with the power supply.
How Can You Tell if Your Smoke Detector is Expired?
Is your smoke detector “chirping”? Does it remain silent during smoke sensor testing? If so, chances are there is a problem with your power supply or the sensor has ceased to function. Hard-wired smoke alarms can be difficult to install without an electrician, so you may need to enlist the help of a professional when replacing these devices.
Smoke detectors are a critical part of a fire safety strategy and should be replaced as soon as possible if they are not functioning. Keep your family safe from fire – contact us today to schedule a smoke detector assessment.