National Fire Safety Month: Smoke Alarm Testing
October is here. Beautiful leaves are falling to the ground here in Western Pennsylvania. More importantly…October is Fire Prevention Month. Something many of us know, but we don’t do much to get ready around the home. SERVPRO of Mercer County is here to remind you of the most basic thing you can do to protect your home before the cold months come…test your smoke alarms.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), smoke detectors should be tested at least once a month and batteries should be replaced at least once or twice a year.
There are two kinds of smoke detectors. Battery operated and AC-powered. Battery operated are the more common, more affordable option. They require bi-yearly inspection to make sure the battery is operating properly. AC-powered are installed by a certified electrician. They are pricier, yet more dependable over a long period of time. However, they should have an independent battery backup in the case a storm or electrical fire creates a power outage.
All smoke detectors have a test button to properly asses if they are working. They also have lights that blink to show they are using power. You should be testing the alarm monthly to ensure the battery has not died and changing the batteries in the Spring and the Fall.
This is also a great time to clear the unit of any dust or debris. Never use a solvent cleaner. Use a vacuum instead. This could contaminate the sensor and break the detector.
The test button may check if the batteries are working okay. But it does not really prove if the detector is able to identify smoke. To check if the detector is working to its full potential---light two or three matches and blow them out underneath the detector to check the functionality.
The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) states that the best location for a smoke detector is on the ceiling near a doorway or stairway. As a fire burns, the smoke rises and seeks easiest route of escape. Kitchens, basements are a top priority to place a smoke detector.
SERVPRO of Mercer County is an expert when it comes to fire damage. We have the specific damage restoration training, personnel, and equipment and can quickly restore your home to pre-fire condition.
Please refer to our Fire Damage Tips - Until Help Arrives Guide and follow these tips to protect yourself and your property.
Have Questions? Call Us Today – (724) 704-8939