What It Means When Your Smoke Alarm Won't Stop Beeping

According to the National Fire Protection Agency it seems that the majority of deaths arising in home fires arise in homes without smoke alarms, or in homes where the smoke alarms don't work.

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Smoke alarms can, and often do, mean the difference between life and death when it comes to a fire in your home. Having properly installed, and working, smoke alarms in the house means that you and your family can be constantly alerted to a fire, during the day or at night, all through the week, and year.

Smoke alarms on the market fall into one of two categories photoelectric and ionization.

It is difficult to say which type is better because they are meant to detect different types of home fires. Most fire prevention experts recommend that residences should install both photoelectric and ionization types. Alternatively, install dual sensor alarms containing both photoelectric and ionization sensors.

So what about those with hearing difficulties? Well, there are even alarms for the hard of hearing. You can get alarms which vibrate and which contain lights that flash vividly.

Smoke alarms can either be wired into the electrical system of the home or be battery powered.

Many people use the normal disposable batteries. However, given the importance of what you're trying to achieve, you might want to install lithium batteries which can keep going for up to ten years.

In fact, you will find that alarm systems you wire into the mains also have a battery back-up within them in case of any power cut. As a result you will also need to change these batteries periodically too.

For both systems it's therefore crucial you test the batteries often to ensure they are still working. Checking them each quarter is a good regime.

As stated, lithium batteries have a much longer life span so they don't need to be replaced yearly. Most photoelectric and ionization alarms cost anywhere between $6 $20 and most dual alarms, between $24 $40.

When considering the cost of a smoke alarm do remember that the lives it can save are priceless.

Smoke alarms should be installed at each level of the house, especially in the basement. Home fires have a way of sneaking up on people when they're sleeping late at night or in the early hours of the morning so, remember to install smoke alarms inside and outside bedrooms and areas where family members are likely to sleep.

Smoke rises so you want to make sure that all alarms are fitted to the ceilings at each level in your home. This will ensure you get the earliest alert. Always observe the manufacturer recommendations when you install any alarms. Make sure to use a time served electrician where you are unsure.

Maintenance is key to making sure the smoke alarms can alert you in an emergency. For all battery powered alarms, conduct monthly tests and replace the batteries once every year. Replace the entire smoke alarm unit once every 8 to 10 years.

It's very important you don't disable any of your alarms should they beep or go off by accident. And never remove the batteries as some people do. Instead, take the following actions:

Press the 'hush' button whilst you open any doors and windows to remove any steam, cigarette, or cooking smoke.

Clear the air around the alarm by waving a towel.

Some alarms have a simple latch holding it into place, which you can unlatch to enable you to temporarily re-site it out of reach of any issues which are causing it to malfunction (but make sure you put it back in it's original location afterwards).

And, if you ever hear an alarm beeping it means either the batteries are flat (and need replacing), or there is dust in the Smoke Alarm (vacuum your alarm, carefully), or there is an internal fault/obstruction (have your alarm inspected by an expert, or replace the alarm).

But, whatever you do, don't leave the alarm to beep and never disable the alarm to stop the beeping sound.

Douglas Barker is renowned for short, but complete, key fact sheets which are critical to understanding crucial skills to protect your family. This includes his useful advice at the First Alert Smoke Alarm site, where you can also learn what to do about a Smoke Alarm Beeping.

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Posted in Home Improvement Post Date 10/31/2016






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