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    Home-Powered Smoke Alarms


  • Home-Powered Smoke Alarms

    February 23, 2018

    While the outdoor fire season doesn’t start in the Spokane/North Idaho area until the summer, the threat of an interior fire starting in your home is something you have to be aware of year-round. Luckily, there are practical steps you can take to stay on top of things and ensure you have all the right measures in place to make sure you won’t be caught off-guard in the event something like that occurs. The professionals at Mainstream Electric have outlined some preventative measures you can take at home to be a step ahead and keep your household safe should the unthinkable happen.

    The importance of smoke alarms

    You know the annoying beeping that always seems to chirp just when you’re getting ready to go to sleep, don’t you? We’ve all been there, and it’s frustrating, but those beeps are incredibly important. According to a 2015 report by the National Fire Protection Association, 53 percent of homes that reported home fires to their local fire departments had smoke alarms. In that same report, the NFPA noted that the death rate in homes without working alarms was 1.18 per 100 fires, but the death rate for homes with functioning alarms plummeted to 0.53 per 100. Having an operational smoke alarm can quite literally be the difference between life and death.

    The NFPA’s guidelines on Smoke Alarms

    Understanding the difference

    Smoke alarms are pretty self-explanatory, but there are some key differences – and arguably the biggest one is the discrepancy between hardwired and battery-powered units. Hardwired smoke detectors, like battery-powered ones, still need to be tested once a month, but if they don’t beep you’ll need to replace the unit instead of simply swapping out the set of batteries. If you *do* hear a beep, then no worries; everything’s good. However, you should still check to ensure the alarm is up-to-date. Find the label on the alarm if there is one, and see when the alarm expires – you don’t want to have an expired unit on your hands should you need it.

    In the NFPA’s 2015 report, 46 percent of fires that occurred in a home where an alarm was present but did not operate were because the alarm didn’t have functioning batteries. With a hardwired alarm, you don’t have to worry about batteries fizzling out without you knowing.


    Where do they need to go?

    You’ll need quite a few smoke alarms in your home. It can seem like a lot, but you’d rather have too many than not enough. For starters, you’ll want one in each bedroom, preferable in the center. There needs to be one on every level of the house, and that even includes your basement. With so many alarms, it would be wise to interconnect them – either through hard-wiring them or by connecting them wirelessly through some of the more advanced technologies.


    Precautions not involving equipment

    In addition to staying on top of the functionality of your alarms, there are some other crucial steps you need to take ahead of time that don’t involve the units themselves. You’ll need to do a walkthrough of your home, checking that there are two accessible escapes from each room that could be used in case of an emergency. Map out the routes in your house to reach these exits, and designate a space outside for everyone to meet at once they’ve gotten out of the reach of the fire. Above all – and it goes without saying — you should call 911 as soon as possible in the event a fire has begun forming.

    Smoke alarms are an inexpensive addition to your home, but the time spent on their upkeep can pay off immensely in the event a fire breaks out. Mainstream Electric can take care of all your smoke alarm needs, from the installation of hardwired units to the maintenance of battery-powered alarms and everything in-between! Many of Mainstream’s alarms also come with rechargeable battery backups that provide critical connection should the central power fail. Give us a call at 509-927-9277 today and put your fire-related worries to bed!

    Related blogs:

    Do I Need an Electrical Safety Inspection?

    Smoke Alarms and Electrical Fire Safety

    Choose Smart! Call the Company with Heart! 866-411-ZAPP (9277)

    For more information on home and business electrical inspections, visit Mainstream Electric, Heating & Cooling online.


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