Our home, which we had built in 1979 came with a smoke alarm on the ceiling in the hall between two of the bedrooms. It is situated down the long hall from the dining, living rooms and the kitchen. Three bedrooms, the furnace, the laundry room and the main bath open off from the hall. Back then for home safety, one smoke alarm was deemed enough fire protection for a house of our size.
Our smoke alarm was mounted on the ceiling, as it should be for home safety, at least four inches from the nearest wall. (If mounted on the wall, the smoke alarm should be mounted high and four to 12 inches away from the ceiling.)
There is more than one kind of smoke alarm . One type for smoldering and and one for flaming fires. There are smoke alarms that cover both so make sure of what you are getting when you buy. (When installing smoke alarms, remember smoke rises.)
Our smoke alarm worked and provided home safety in case of fire. However, we discovered that anytime we overcooked something in the kitchen, the smoke funneled down that hall and set off the smoke alarm. (Make sure to buy an alarm that has a shut off button for times it goes off when no fire is present.) Our smoke alarm was loud enough to wake the dead…and all the neighbors. We knew that should a fire break out, we’d be alerted.
This home safety precaution was especially important once we had children. Our son slept so soundly that it took an act of God to wake him up at any given time, much less should a fire break out. A loud sounding smoke alarm was very important in his case. A loud smoke alarm is essential, too, should someone in the household have hearing problems of any kind.
For those who are deaf, home safety dictates more than a sound from the smoke alarm should fire break out. Then it is important to add a smoke alarm with added strobe lights or vibrations.
For home safety purposes, we tested the smoke alarm at regular intervals to make sure it was operational. Those smoke alarms not hard-wired into the household electrical system, have batteries that will need replacing. If your smoke alarm is hard-wired, think about interconnecting the smoke alarms around the house so that, in case of fire, all the smoke alarms will sound regardless of the location of the fire.
For home safety replace each smoke alarm periodically. Like houses, smoke alarms age and may not be as reliable after ten years or so.
Our house came with only one smoke alarm. That was mandatory then for home safety in case of fire. But then, we have a small house with only one level and no basement. That one smoke alarm is outside, as it should be, all three bedrooms. Our children are grown and away from home. Were I raising children today, I’d install one in each bedroom for better home safety in case of fire.
Our house has only the one level, but most houses have more. Home safety calls for smoke alarms on every level of the home in strategic locations. Along with the smoke alarms, for home safety, plan and practice routes of escape in case of fire.
No one likes to think something as tragic as fire could devastate their home or family, but almost every day we read or hear how home safety is compromised by fire. It can happen to the most careful of families, even those with home safety in mind. But, by using smoke alarms, installing them correctly and by testing them regularly, chances are, even in cases of fire, the smoke alarms would go off and your family would have the chance to reach safety.
Smoke alarms are a critical factor in home safety. Check yours or buy today and stay safe.