Smoke Alarms in Single Family Homes

Guide to Replacing Your Smoke Alarm

Smoke Alarms in Single Family Homes – One of the most important things you can do for your family is to install smoke alarms and make sure they have new batteries. Unfortunately, people all around the country die every day simply because they were caught in a fire that could have been avoided if a smoke alarm had been installed. There is never a reason not to have one and if you cannot afford the $10, most fire stations will offer them free.  Contact Ted with Plano Texas Handyman to assess your fire protection plan 214-507-3415.

-Both commercial buildings and homes are required to build and maintain under- certain codes. These codes cover a number of things designed to keep occupants healthy and safe, with the number one being a smoke alarm. The thing to remember is that these codes can and do change. Therefore, if you plan to remodel your home or build a new one, it is crucial that you learn the current codes.

Interestingly, many families are still not sure where the smoke alarms should be placed. Just remember that even for a small home or apartment you need more than one alarm. One area would be inside each of the bedrooms. This way, every family member is protected and not caught by surprise. You can place these on the wall behind the door or in a corner where they will not even be noticed.

Another place is in the hallway, both up and downstairs. Although you will have the protection in each bedroom, you also need to protect the pathway leading into and out of the bedrooms. Make sure you have a smoke alarm in the garage, in stairwells, in rooms with a fireplace, and in the kitchen. In fact, many people will install smoke alarms in each room. Again, they are inexpensive and they do save lives! The only places you would not install a smoke alarm is in an attic or crawlspace. However, if those spaces are ever converted to living space, then you should add one.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), recommends one Smoke Alarm on every floor, in every sleeping area, and in every bedroom. In new construction, the Smoke Alarms must be AC powered and interconnected. See “Agency Placement Recommendations” for details. For additional coverage, it is recommended that you install a Smoke Alarm in all rooms, halls, storage areas, finished attics, and basements, where temperatures normally remain between 40° F (4° C) and 100° F (38° C). Make sure no door or other obstruction could keep smoke from reaching the Smoke Alarms. More specifically, install Smoke Alarms:

On every level of your home, including finished attics and basements.
Inside every bedroom, especially if people sleep with the door partly or completely closed.
In the hall near every sleeping area. If your home has multiple sleeping areas, install a unit in each. If a hall is more than 40 feet long (12 meters), install a unit at each end.
At the top of the first-to-second floor stairway, and at the bottom of the basement stairway.
IMPORTANT! Specific requirements for Smoke Alarm installation vary from state to state and from region to region. Check with your local Fire Department for current requirements in your area. It is recommended AC or AC/DC units be interconnected for added protection.

In addition to the battery-operated smoke alarms, there are also models that are connected and operated from the home�s electrical system. Even so, these units have battery backup should you lose power. For this reason, it is important that you remember to keep these batteries current. In most cases, people will set a schedule by which they replace all the batteries at once. This way, they know for sure the batteries are new.

If you have an older home, you can expect that any remodeling will require that you bring things up to code. To do this, permits will be needed. The only time things would be different is if the remodeling project does not include a lot of work opening plaster or drywall on the walls and/or ceiling. This means you would not be opening up the walls where the electrical system could be accessed. In this situation, you would simply use the battery-operated smoke alarm. This investment is one of the best you can make!

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