It is understood that fire prevention should not only be observed during October but through out the whole year round that is if you still love your life, your love ones and your properties. Smoke alarms are generally more effective at detecting smoldering fires which smolder for hours before bursting into flames. Sources of these fires may include cigarettes burning in couches or bedding. To insure safety at home, you need to install one alarm at least in your every single room. Smoke alarms are available in AC/DC types.
Where to install smoke alarms? Some experts on fire prevention advice thefollowing:
- At first, you need install them in your bedroom and route way or should install one item in every bedroom at least.
- Stairway is important for you and your love ones to rush out when fires occur, so there must install smoke detectors.
- You at least require one smoke alarm on every floor including finished attics and basements.
- Install one alarm beside every electric facility.
- Install smoke alarms in the middle of ceiling because smog, heat and flashes always lift to the top of rooms.
- If some reasons cause you cannot install them in the middle of ceiling, you need to install them at least 10cm away from the wall.
- If you like to install them on the wall, they should be installed at least at 10 to 30.5cm away under the ceiling.
- You need install more one alarm when the length of your hall exceeds 9m.
- In an oblique roof room, install the alarm at least at 0.9m away from the top.
- If it is a removable house normally it is a short of heat isolation, so you would better install the alarm at 10 to 30.5cm away from the ceiling and install one near your bedroom too.
Where not to install smoke alarms?
- Do not install smoke alarms where combustion particles are produced. Combustion particles form when something burns. Avoid installing in the areas that have poorly ventilated kitchens, garages and furnace rooms. Keep units at least 6m from the sources of combustion particles like stove, furnace, water heater and space heater. Ventilate these areas as much as possible.
- In air streams near kitchens. Air currents can draw cooking smoke into the sensing chamber of a smoke alarm near the kitchen.
- In very damp, humid or steamy areas or directly near bathrooms with showers. Keep units at least 3m away from showers saunas and dishwashers.
- Where the temperatures are regularly below 40F (4C) or above 100F (38C), including unheated buildings, outdoor rooms, porches or unfinished attics or basements.
- In a very dusty, dirty or greasy areas. Do not install a smoke alarm directly over the stove or range. Clean a laundry room unit frequently to keep it free of dust or lint.
- Near fresh air vents, ceiling fans or in very drafty areas. Drafts can blow smoke away from the unit, preventing it from reaching the sensing chamber.
- In insect infested areas. Insects can clog openings to the sensing chamber and cause unwanted alarms.
- Less than 305mm away from fluorescent lights. Electrical noise can interfere with the sensor.
- In dead air space.
- If you have a smoking meeting room, do not install the alarm there for the unit will alarm when several persons smoke.
How to install this smoke alarm?
- Hold base firmly and push the hinge in then turn anti-clockwise, to release the base down.
- Hold the smoke alarm against the ceiling or wall and make a mark at the center of each of the mounting slots with a pencil.
- Place the unit where it would not get covered with dust when you drill the mounting holes.
- Using a drill bit, drill a hole through each pencil mark into the desired deep or at least 35mm deep.
- Insert the plastic screw into the holes and tap them gently with a hammer. Tighten the screws into the screw anchors, then loosen them two turns.
- Slide the smoke alarm base up to the screw heads end up in the narrow ends of the mounting slots, then tighten the screws completely.
- If the battery is needed, unscrew the screws fixing the battery cover and insert the 9v battery into the box, then close the battery cover and tighten the screws.
- And close the bottom cover and the alarm body accordingly and then finish your installation.
After the installation you have to test the unit. It is important to test the unit to make sure it is working properly. And testing can be done also weekly. To test the unit follow the following instructions:
- Press and hold the test button on the cover of the unit until the alarm sounds. If it does not alarm, make sure that the unit is receiving power and test it again. If it still does not alarm, replace it immediately or check your battery.
The signal flashes once at 30 seconds and while it alarms the signal will flash
- If the alarm makes low chirp sounds every about 30 seconds, it tells you to replace your battery.
- Little smoke will not cause alarms, so misinformation occurs only when you blow smoke to the alarms directly or you forget to turn on your ventilated facility while you are cooking.
- Sometimes when you smoke the unit will alarm, so you can just blow air to it to stop alarming.
For the regular maintenance these are what you would do:
- Never use water, cleaners or solvents to clean your smoke alarm since they may damage the unit.
- Test it at least once a week.
- Clean the smoke alarm at least once a month. Gently vacuum off any dust using your household vacuum’s soft brush attachment. Open the cover and disconnect the battery, gently vacuum the inside of the cover and the sensor chamber, reconnect the battery afterwards and close the smoke alarm and proceed to vacuum the outside of the cover and then test the smoke alarm.
- Use the following batteries to replace the old one such as Carbon Zinc: Everyday 216, Alkaline: Everyday 522 and Lithium:Ultralife U9VL.
- Use good battery to make the alarm works long. Some batteries can be used more than one year.
Limitations of smoke alarms
- The United States NFPA72 tells that the safety of life is to be noticed by alarms before fire, to confirm the correct escape way. The fire systems help half of residents escape and we should help the old people, women and children because they are always the victim.
- Smoke alarms are not foolproof. they cannot prevent or extinguish fires. They are not a substitute for property or life insurance. You need to buy also some fire fighting facilities like fire extinguishers.
- Sometimes the smoke is blocked by objects and cannot reach the detector, and if the wind blows the smoke will leave off from the detector and the unit would not work either.
- If the smoke alarm is alarming with out smoke, check whether there is fluorescent light in the side. If so, fix the unit more far from the fluorescent light.
What to do in case of fire?
- Call the fire department immediately after confirming the fire.
- Do not panic, stay calm and follow your family escape plan if there is available. get out of the house as quickly as possible. Do not stop to get dressed or collect anything.
- Feel the doors before opening them to see if they are hot. If a door is cool, open it slowly. Do not open a hot door – use an alternate escape route.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a cloth preferably wet. Take short, shallow breath.
- Meet at your planned place outside your home and do a head count to ensure everybody go out safely.
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