The Importance of Smoke Detector Installation
Smoke detector installation is serious business. According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), household fires spread much more quickly than in the past due to the kinds of fabrics and materials used in modern home furnishings. For this reason, an adequate number of smoke detectors must be installed correctly in every home.
How Many Smoke Detectors Do I Need?
The number and arrangement of smoke detectors in your house depends on the size and layout of your home.
In general, there should be a smoke alarm in each "sleeping room" in your house - so bedrooms area necessity, but also guest rooms and living rooms. There should also be a smoke detector on each level with a bedroom; in hallways or near the stairs to an upper level are good locations.
The kitchen is another common place for fires to start. A smoke detector should be installed within at least 10 feet of your cooking appliances, but not so close as to be set off every time you burn dinner.
If you're not sure how many smoke detectors you need or where exactly to install them, consult your electrician. They will be familiar with state and local regulations for smoke detector installation.
Do I Need an Electrician to Install Smoke Detectors?
Many residential buildings make use of cheap battery-operated smoke detectors that are simply fixed to the wall. But are these enough to ensure the safety of your family and property? A much safer option is to have an interconnected, hard-wired smoke detection system.
Hard-wired smoke detectors are connected directly to your home's electrical system. Although they do contain batteries as a back-up measure, being powered by the mail electrical circuit means that they will continue to work, even if you forget to replace the batteries. Some states now require hard-wired systems in newly constructed homes.
An interconnected smoke detector system can also save lives. "Interconnected" means that the detectors can communicate with each other. When one detects smoke or fire, all the alarms will sound - alerting you quickly to possible danger.
They can also tell you where the smoke is coming from. Detectors can be interconnected either wirelessly (using radio frequency signals) or during the hard-wiring installation.
Both the NFPA and Consumer Product Safety Commission recognize that interconnected smoke detectors are safer, as they are more likely to alert occupants to the fire. This can be especially important in larger or multi-level homes. If a fire breaks out in a remote part of the house, you want to know about it immediately - not once it's spreading to other rooms.
For both hard-wired and interconnected smoke detection systems, you should consult a qualified electrician for installation. It's always safer and easier to have a trained professional do the job, and they will know the regulations and standards your home should meet.
Don't hesitate to update your smoke detection system.