Installing and maintaining smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms can save your life! 

Fire can grow and spread quickly, and having working smoke alarms in your home can mean the difference between life and death. So it is important that these life saving devices are in good working order and installed properly. Smoke alarms with batteries that are dead, disconnected, or missing can’t alert you to the dangers of smoke and fire.

In fact the life expectancy of smoke alarms is normally 10 years, after which point their sensors can start to lose sensitivity. Additionally, carbon monoxide alarms should be replaced every five years.

Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of your home; make sure that there is an alarm outside every separate sleeping area. New homes are required to have a smoke alarm in every sleeping room and all smoke alarms must be interconnected.

Hard-wired smoke alarms operate on your household electrical current. They can be interconnected so that every alarm sounds regardless of the fire’s location. This is an advantage in early warning, because it gives you and your family extra time to escape if they are in one part of the home and a fire breaks out in another part of the house. Smoke alarms that are hard-wired should have battery backups in case of a power outage, and should be installed by a qualified electrician.

Smoke Alarm Placement and Installation:

  • If you sleep with bedroom doors closed, have a qualified electrician install interconnected smoke alarms in each room so that when one alarm sounds, they all sound.
  • If you or someone in your home is deaf or hard of hearing, consider installing an alarm that combines flashing lights, vibration and sound.
  • Mount smoke alarms high on walls or ceilings (remember, smoke rises). Ceiling mounted alarms should be installed at least four inches away from the nearest wall; wall-mounted alarms should be installed four to 12 inches away from the ceiling.
  • If you have ceilings that are pitched, install the alarm near the ceiling’s highest point.
  • Don’t install smoke alarms near windows, doors, or ducts where drafts might interfere with their operation.
  • Never paint smoke alarms. Paint, stickers, or other decorations could keep the alarms from working.


To schedule your Total Home Electrical Safety Inspection call 727-308-3800 today.

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