Smoke detectors are an absolutely essential part of any home for protection against fire deaths and injuries. Smoke detectors are inexpensive and are required by law in many localities. Check local codes and regulations before you buy your smoke detector because some codes require specific types of detectors. They provide an early warning which is critical because the longer the delay in realizing there is a fire, the deadlier the consequences.
- Make sure at least one smoke detector is located on every floor of your home. Smoke detectors should be placed near bedrooms, either on the ceiling or 6-12 inches below the ceiling on the wall.
- Locate smoke detectors away from air vents or registers; high air flow or dead spots are to be avoided. If placed too close to cooking areas, the device may need to be re-located -- never disconnect the detector just for convenience.
- Smoke detectors need to be tested according to manufacturer's instructions on a regular basis (at least once a month) and are kept in working condition at all times.
- Batteries are replaced according to manufacturer's instructions, at least annually. You may need to replace your batteries before a year's end if you hear a "chirping" sound from the detector.
- Follow manufacturer's instructions about cleaning your detector. Excessive dust, grease or other material in the detector may cause it to operate abnormally. Vacuum the grill work of your detector.
- The smoke detector has a distinct warning signal that can be heard whether the family is asleep or awake.