Why are smoke alarms important For Homes?
The importance of having a functional smoke alarm system in every house
Damage caused by absence of smoke alarms
Smoke alarms can be crucial in saving lives when a disaster occurs. With increasing devices and wiring in today’s time, a small mistake can easily lead to a fire inside a house.
The National Fire Protection Association estimated around 940 deaths between 2009 and 2013 in cases of house fires where the house didn’t have a functioning smoke alarm.
It is said that 38 percent of home fire victims are reported in house fires without a smoke alarm whereas 21 percent of deaths are caused due to a non-functioning system.
A report from NFPA has estimated that the rate of deaths in reported house fires was more than twice when the smoke alarm wasn’t working properly.
Installing smoke alarm systems inside a home
Due to fire children and aged people facing highest risk. Because they don’t move quickly under this kind of tense situations.
Having a smoke alarm in the house also helps to give additional time to residents to evacuate without injuries and help other members with the same.
Working smoke alarms also help the victims in claiming insurance for their damages from a house fire otherwise the insurers can easily deny the claim. A simple machine costing around $20 can help reduce the disaster and get insurance for it as well.
There are a few things people should know about installing smoke alarms to maximize safety in case of a fire:
- Although general guidelines state that there should be a minimum of one smoke alarm on each floor, NFPA advises to have a smoke detector for each room.
A closed door can easily hinder the spreading of smoke, fire and heat to the smoke alarm which will cause the fire to grow much bigger by the time it is detected.
Thus, to prevent excessive damages and gas explosions, people should have a smoke alarm for every separate area.
- It is possible for the fire to start in the basement or a remote corner of the house. One or two smoke alarms may not be loud enough to alert everyone in the building.
Therefore, NFPA advises people to interconnect their smoke alarms. This helps everyone to quick get the alerts.
- Photoelectric smoke alarms detect smoke when it passes through a beam of light, thus interrupting the signal. They are helpful in warning quickly in case of a smoldering fire.
On the other hand, ionization smoke alarms detect the change in electrical current due to smoke and are good for detecting flaming fires. NFPA suggests use of both types of systems in the house for best safety.
- There should be a safety plan developed inside the house to quickly escape in case of a house fire. While sudden alarms may startle children, if trained for evacuation, the alarm will instead trigger their survival instinct.
Also, during a fire most of the things are not visible due to smoke, knowing the escape route well will help residents in safely getting out of the building and help others as well.
Maintaining a smoke alarm
Although a smoke alarm is installed for providing enhanced security from a fire, the system is not foolproof. Homeowners should regularly perform smoke alarm tests to ensure that they work properly.
Following guidelines can help people to maintain their smoke alarms in a proper way:
- It’s really important to test the smoke alarms every month. To press the test button on the device will help to test the device. If the alarm sounds then the device is working well.
- Make sure that the residents know the sound of the smoke alarm and conduct fire drills to familiarize them with the escape route in case of an emergency.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and maintaining the device. Due to ignore instructions, modern devices not worked properly, blocked or damaged.
- Replace the batteries as per instructions on the device. Many batteries may not be compatible with the smoke detector and damage it.
In fires where smoke alarms didn’t function properly, 46 percent of the systems contained batteries which were missing or disconnected. Dead batteries are the main victim of smoke alarm failure.
Replace the smoke alarm systems after every 10 years. Smoke alarm systems which claim to work for 10 years . It they don’t feature a removable battery. Thus removed battery immediately if their alarm seems to fade.
With the given information, people now know “why are smoke alarms important for homes?” along with how to maintain them properly.
Smoke alarms are a crucial component in preventing injuries during a house fire and prevention is always better than cure.