Your smoke detector may just be the most important device in your home. If that isn’t functioning when you need it, the results can be tragic and irreversible. That’s why every Gloucester homeowner must have a smoke detector that’s in working order. Ideally, you’ll get that smoke detector hard-wired by an electrician experienced in smoke detector installation.
Hard-Wired or Battery Powered Smoke Detectors
It’s easy to see the appeal of battery-powered smoke detectors. They are less expensive and easy to pick up at the local big box store. They’re also easy to install. You can put them up yourself with no need to hire a professional for smoke detector installation. Further, battery-powered smoke detectors work, even during a power outage. At least they will if those batteries aren’t out of juice. So, homeowners have to check and change those batteries frequently.
On the other hand, hard-wired smoke detectors tend to be more expensive. A professional electrician should also install them. However, once that initial expense is covered, there are many benefits. These smoke detectors can work even if their batteries are weak. They can also be connected to other hard-wired smoke detectors in your home. That way, if one alarm goes off, they all do. That ensures that everyone within a Gloucester home is guaranteed to hear the alarm.
When Should I Call to Install a Smoke Detector?
A good smoke detector can last for about a decade. If you know when you bought and installed yours, that’s a good guideline to follow. If your smoke detectors were installed when you moved in, check the manufacture date. That should be printed on the device. Use that to gauge how old the detector is. Finally, don’t take unnecessary risks. When in doubt, throw it out. Yes, even when it appears to work just fine.
You should also purchase a new smoke detector for your home if yours goes off when there isn’t a fire or smoke nearby. Test your smoke detector monthly. If the button doesn’t respond, replace the batteries. Then, test it again.
Where to Install your Smoke Detector
It’s better to have an excess of smoke detectors in your Gloucester home than not enough. You should have smoke detectors in every room where someone sleeps. It’s important to have a smoke detector in your basement, too. That should go on the ceiling at the bottom of the stairs. Even if there are no bedrooms or kitchens, every floor of your home should have at least one smoke detector installed.
The best place for a smoke detector is the ceiling. If that’s not an option, they can be installed on the wall less than 12 inches from the ceiling. If you have a pitched ceiling, your smoke detector should be more than four inches away from the highest point but no more than 36 inches away.
Many people don’t realize that smoke detectors don’t belong in the kitchen. That’s too close to appliances that naturally create heat, smoke, and steam. That can cause false alarms, leading to unsafe practices such as people disconnecting smoke detectors. Additionally, you should never install your smoke detectors near vents, doors, or windows. These areas are drafty, and that can cause the detector to malfunction.
Smoke Detector Maintenance in Gloucester
It’s important to keep smoke detectors free from dust and grime. That is something any homeowner can do. Additionally, all smoke detectors should get tested monthly. For battery-powered smoke detectors, simply push the test button. If it doesn’t beep, replace the battery. It’s best to test hard-wired smoke detectors with a partner. This way, one of you can push the button while the other one verifies that the other detectors on the same circuit also sound off.
Many smoke detectors make a constant beep when their batteries begin to die. That is a helpful feature, but you shouldn’t rely on it entirely. There’s just no substitute for regular testing and replacing out of caution.
A Note About Smoke Detector Batteries
When it’s time to replace the batteries in your smoke detector, always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. Use the brand they suggest for best results. If there are no recommendations, invest in a good quality battery that’s known for durability.
Hiring a Professional Who Serves Hampton Roads
A professional electrician will be able to recommend the ideal smoke detectors for your home. They’ll know where each device should be installed and will be able to handle the wiring necessary to get the job done. If your installation must be up to code, you can count on an electrician to do the job right.
If you live in Gloucester, Virginia Beach, Williamsburg, or any neighboring communities throughout Hampton Roads, you can count on Asbury Electric for smoke detector installation done right. Contact us today, and set up an appointment!