Wake Up! And Check Your Smoke Alarm!
Maintaining the Smoke Alarms in Your Home
It is important to check your smoke detector on a regular basis, making sure it is charged and also dust free. Here are some easy maintenance tips for making sure your smoke detector is working at its full capacity. Not only will this maintenance give you peace of mind it may save the lives of yourself and your family.
The Silent Killer
Smoke alarms save lives. Carbon monoxide has no smell, so it doesn’t give you any indication that it is there. This story shows how carbon monoxide can affect you and how this family is lucky to be alive. Read more…
Types of Alarms
- Ionization smoke alarms- warn about flaming fires
- Photoelectric alarms- warn about smoldering fires
- Strobe lights and bed shakers- for those who are hard of hearing or deaf
For more details on these types of smoke alarms from the City of Chilliwack click here.
Steps for Maintaining Your Smoke Alarm:
- Test your smoke alarm monthly. To do this, simply push the ‘Test’ button.
- If your smoke alarm is battery operated, replace the batteries once a year with new batteries.
- Keep the smoke alarms in your home clean from debris by vacuuming up cob webs and keeping it dust free.
- Check the expiration date on each fire alarm and if it is close to ten years old then replace it with a new one.
For more information on how to change your smoke detector battery, this Youtube video from Liberty Homes will give you clear and easy instructions. Click here to watch video>
Check to see that your home is properly insulated and that the smoke detector is located in a place where it will maximize its effectiveness with the room’s air flow.
Caution: Never cover or block the combustion air vent in any way at the outside of your home or inside your home where the vent terminates. Outside air is needed to supply the furnace with sufficient oxygen to supply the flame. Blocking the combustion air vent will cause the furnace to draw air down the vent pipe and pull poisonous gases back into your home. If your home is not equipped with CO (Carbon Monoxide) sensors, or they are not functioning properly Carbon Monoxide poisoning may occur.
New homes today are more tightly sealed to the outside environment than older homes. While this improves efficiency there are negative effects such as condensation, cooking odors, indoor pollutants, radon and carbon monoxide may all accumulate. There are both mechanical and passive methods of ventilating homes and minimizing the effects of these factors. It is important that you attend to ventilation maintenance as an important contributor to your health and safety.
There are many great sources available for information on smoke detectors and the dangers of carbon monoxide. From the BC Safety Authority to Fortis BC you will find many great resources on which you can educate yourself and create a maintenance plan to protect your home and family.
Plan an Escape Route
Lastly, take time to develop a fire escape plan for your home. Practice this plan with all of the occupants in your home so that everyone knows how to escape in an emergency. Get your kids involved by using these great plans from ‘Staying Alive’. Click here to visit this website.
Familiarize yourself with the steps on how to maintain your smoke alarm yourself, or call in a professional to get it done.
Here is a full list of Chilliwack home inspectors, along with their contact numbers…view list>
For more information about maintaining your home, please view the Spruceland Homes’ Home Owner’s Manual.