smoke detectors

When to replace smoke detectors and what if they are hard wired?

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As the holidays approach, your home will become a gathering place of family and friends. With that in mind, it is also a good time to check all your smoke and carbon dioxide detectors to make sure they are working properly. However, as you check your various detectors, you need to determine if they are still good or need to be replaced.

Wired smoke detectors need to be installed by a residential electrician in Los Angeles, CA, so they can also help you when it is time to replace them. The question is when should you replace your smoke detectors?

Here are a few facts to keep in mind when checking your smoke detectors and what you need to know if they are hard-wired.

How Long Can Smoke Detectors Be in Service?

While many of us are familiar with that regular beeping to let us know that the batteries need to be replaced, we are less familiar with how frequently the smoke detectors need to be replaced. According to FEMA, smoke detectors should be replaced every 10 years from their date of manufacture.

Therefore, it is important to check on the date each of your smoke detectors. Then make a list of your detectors, their locations, and their manufacture dates. Every year go through the list and pull the ones that have reached their ten-year anniversary. Once you pull them, replace those detectors right away. Be sure to update your list with new manufacture dates for the replacement detectors. If your smoke detectors are less than 10 years old, then it is safe to continue using them.

Testing the Batteries

If your smoke detectors are still in good working order, then be sure to create a schedule for testing your batteries on a monthly basis. It should be part of your home’s regular maintenance. Simply push the test button on the detector and make sure the alarm sounds. If the alarm doesn’t sound, then you should replace that detector’s batteries.

However, if the batteries get low between your monthly checks, the detector should sound and let you know. Be sure to promptly replace the batteries to ensure that your smoke detector is in good working order. According to the National Fire Protection Association, working smoke detectors in your home can reduce your risk of dying in a home fire by almost half.

Where Should Your Smoke Detectors Be Located?

After checking your smoke detectors and determining that they are in working order, it is important to make sure they are in the best placement throughout your home.

Make sure there is a smoke detector in each bedroom, one right outside of each bedroom, and another one on every level of your home, including the basement. Having a smoke detector inside each bedroom and right outside means that the alarm is likely to be heard, even if the bedroom door is closed. Many families also make sure that there is a smoke detector in the kitchen, thus reducing the risk of a kitchen fire going undetected.

A carbon dioxide detector should also be placed near the sleeping areas, along with one on each level of the house. This additional option will help

Additionally, you should also make sure that your smoke detectors are interconnected if possible. These pattern can help you to be notified of a fire, no matter where you are located inside your home because if one sounds, then they all will sound.

What If My Smoke Alarms Are Wired?

If your smoke alarms are wired into your home’s electrical system, they will have a backup battery in them that needs to be replaced at least once a year. They should also be replaced every 10 years. However, you should use a residential electrician in Los Angeles, CA, to pull those detectors and replace them. Only a qualified residential electrician should install hardwired smoke alarms.

While you might have a residential electrician out to check on your smoke detectors, you can also have them check out any other electrical issues that could be concerning you. Remember, the smallest spark from faulty electrical wiring can end up resulting in a large and destructive fire, often in just a few seconds.

Our experienced and knowledgeable team can help you determine the best smoke alarms for your home and also assist in determining the right placement of those alarms throughout your home. Contact us today to make an appointment to have your hardwired smoke alarms checked.

Signal Alarms and Electric is an electrical contractor in Southern California providing full capacity electrical contracting services for new construction, renovations, tenant improvements, service upgrades, exterior, interior and landscape lighting, retrofits and service installations in the Southern California/Los Angeles County area.