Daylight savings time is here… which is a great reminder that it’s time to test your smoke alarms! Make no mistake; smoke alarms (in working condition) save lives, as most deaths caused by fire were in homes that didn’t have a working smoke alarm. This seems like such a “no brainer” but because we become complacent over time, even the most conscientious folks overlook the smoke alarms in their homes and don’t do regular maintenance checks on them. Daylight savings time in the fall and spring are good reminders to check your alarms, but realistically, they should be checked more often than just twice a year. Some safety experts say that monthly checks are in order. Most alarms will “chirp” if the battery is dead, and it is so annoying that you immediately change it! However, some smoke detectors have sensors in them that fail over time, so they will not indicate when the battery is dead. A great way to know for sure if your smoke alarm is in working order is to do the candle test. Simply light a candle, and then blow it out. Put the alarm right next to the smoke from the candle; if the alarm goes off, it is in working order; if it doesn’t, you need to replace it.
For maximum protection, smoke alarms should be on every level of your home, including attics and basements AND in every bedroom. They should be installed at the highest height as well, because smoke and heat naturally rise.
There are many “types” of alarms:
Dual sensors: these alarms have both Photoelectric sensors (detect high levels of smoke) and Ionization sensors (detect low levels of smoke and flame). An alarm with BOTH sensors is the best.
Multifunctional smoke alarms that also include carbon monoxide detection (many cities now require them) do two functions in one unit… a smart choice!
Installation: there are different units available for various installation purposes. Some are battery only, and don’t require any other electricity to work properly. Others are hardwired, and are connected to your electrical system; however, most come with a “battery backup” just in case there is a power outage.
“Smart” alarms: these are monitored with a special phone app, and are typically more expensive, but they are VERY effective!
Submitting an offer on a home without ever setting foot inside is not new… and now with the COVID-19 Pandemic, it has become more common place for buyers who simply don't want to take any risks. But is this a smart thing to do?