How Many Smoke Detectors to “Deck the Halls” With This Season

smoke detectors

‘Tis the season — for safety! The holidays bring with them myriad fire hazards, and it’s important to be prepared. In fact, fire safety is something you should be prepared for year-round. That includes installing smoke detectors to alert you when there’s danger. How many do you need, and where should you put them?

Installing Smoke Detectors

In North Carolina, any home built after 1999 is required by law to have a smoke alarm in every bedroom, one outside of every bedroom, and one on every floor, including the basement. That may seem like a lot, but it gives you the best chance of early detection in case of fire.

Most home fires occur either late at night or early in the morning, while the family is asleep. If a fire does break out, you have, on average, about five minutes to evacuate. Furthermore, if smoke is detected in one room, the smoke detectors in other rooms and on other floors might not sense it until it’s too late. Therefore, the more detectors you have, the better chance you have of getting an early warning of danger and escaping unharmed.

Types of Smoke Detectors

The most common type of smoke alarm is battery powered. They should be tested once a month to be sure the battery is working, and the battery should be replaced once or twice a year, whether it still works or not, to be sure it’s fully charged and effective. Smoke detectors typically last between eight and 10 years.

Hardwired smoke alarms connect directly to your electrical system. They also have a battery backup, in case the power fails. This fail-safe system makes them doubly effective for alerting you to danger. They should also be replaced by a professional electrician every 10 years.

Finally, a combination smoke/CO detector can protect you on multiple fronts. It alerts you not just to fire but to carbon monoxide leaks as well.

For help with this and other safety issues this holiday season, contact us at Jackson & Sons. We keep Eastern North Carolina homes safe and comfortable year-round.

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