Smoke alarms are a safety measure that can prevent people from being stuck in a fire since the alarm goes off at the right time.
While they may be triggered if you have burned your dinner or smoked inside the room, they can be a lifesaver otherwise. However, for them to function well, you will have to make sure that they are tested at regular intervals.
A malfunctioning smoke alarm is dangerous as you are vouching on it to let you know in case of a fire. Hence, if you have not been maintaining your smoke alarms, this is an excellent time to begin.
Read on to learn about how frequently you should conduct a smoke alarm test.
How Frequently Should Smoke Alarms Be Tested?
If you have a smoke alarm in the house or in the apartment building, keep the following tips in mind. But for replacing and installing a new smoke alarm, it is best to seek professional help.
A. Monthly Check
You will need to test smoke alarms every month to check if they are working correctly. To do that, you can press the test button and then see if the battery and the alarm are both working fine. A smoke alarm test every month will ensure that you spot issues immediately.
B. Half-Yearly Check
Smoke alarms need to be cleaned every six months to maintain them. They often get covered by dust particles or spider webs, and that can prevent them from working properly. Use a vacuum cleaner for the job but in case you do not have one, use a damp cloth to wipe it.
Ensure that the fabric is slightly damp and not dripping wet so that no water gets into the body of the smoke alarm.
C. Yearly Check
If the smoke alarm comes with replaceable batteries, then it is best to replace them once a year. Remember to do this so that it keeps functioning, and we will recommend setting a yearly alarm on the phone.
However, if an in-built lithium battery is present, then there is no way of replacing it, you will just have to change the entire system when the alarm stops working.
D. Ten-Year Replacement
Smoke alarms are not made to last forever, and you will have to replace them after ten years. They lose their effectiveness over time and may not function at their best capacity after ten years. Hence, replacement is necessary, and you can call up local electricians for the job.
How To Understand If A Smoke Alarm Needs To Be Replaced?
If you check the serial number that is printed on the smoke alarm, you will be able to know the manufacturing date. For example, if the number is 2808, then the product was manufactured on the 28th week of 2008.
Also, some manufacturers will directly print the date on the body of the smoke alarm, which you can read. You will find the date or the batch number right near the battery compartment towards the base of the alarm. The date will help you know if ten years have gone by and whether you need to replace the smoke alarm.
When Was The Smoke Alarm Legislation Initiated
You might have heard about a series of house fires that turned out to be fatal several years back. Soon after that, the NSW government decided to introduce the smoke alarm legislation on the first of May 2006.
According to this legislation, every house in NSW is supposed to have one working smoke alarm, installed on every floor of the house. This covers all kinds of properties, including relocated homes, personal flats, rentals, caravans, and campervans as well. Any property where people can sleep needs to have a smoke alarm.
Also, the Australian Standard 3786 (AS3786) needs to be met by any smoke alarm that is used. This should be mentioned on the packaging itself for people to know.
What Is The Ideal Position Of Smoke Alarms?
The Building Legislation Amendment (Smoke Alarms) Act 2005 needs to be kept in mind before installing smoke alarms. But today, Fire and Rescue NSW is suggesting getting an interconnected network of alarms that are placed in every living space, bedroom, and garage.
This will ensure complete safety for you and the property. You will get enough time to inform the authorities, who can then come and extinguish the fire.
How To Dispose Of An Old Alarm?
We will suggest not throwing an alarm in the garbage. Instead, you can bring it to any cleanout centre or a community recycling centre and drop it there.
Also, there are some drive-through events that are held on certain weekends every year, and you can drop off the alarm in one of them. Community recycling centres will provide you with a permanent disposable site but if you are unsure where it is located, just ask the local council.
In some communities, there are drop-off facilities set up in libraries as well. This is the safest and the most environment-friendly way to dispose of the alarm.
Did you know that it only takes a few breaths of smoke from a burning building to make someone unconscious? Yes, that is how quickly a fire might cause issues; hence, smoke alarms are essential.
Make sure to maintain them properly so that they can help in times of need. It is important to remove all old alarms and replace them with new ones ASAP.
There are newer models whereby alarms in every room and even the garage are connected so that you can be notified in case of any accidental fires throughout the house. Further, keep testing smoke alarms every month, and you should not face any problems in the future.
With this, we will be ending this guide, and we will soon be back with more information regarding different home appliances. Remember that safety should always be your priority!