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7 Life-Saving Des Moines Smoke Detector Tips

Fire alarmMore than 4,000 Americans lose their lives each year in fires. What is even more tragic is that two-thirds of these deaths could be avoided. The difference between life and death comes down to one simple thing: the Des Moines smoke detector. If it is missing or malfunctioning when you need it, your family could be in serious danger.

As an electrician from a long line of electricians, I feel it is my responsibility to educate consumers about how they can protect themselves with some simple Des Moines smoke detector tips I have picked up over the years.

#1 Do you have Des Moines Smoke Detectors everywhere you should have them?

You ought to have Des Moines smoke detectors in:

  • Every staircase
  • Your kitchen
  • The basement
  • Every bedroom
  • Every hallway

Also make sure you have a Des Moines smoke alarm installed on every floor of your home.

#2 Do you Replace your batteries each year?

Most Des Moines smoke detectors run on carbon-zinc or 9-volt alkaline batteries. If you are hearing a beeping or chirping coming from your alarm, probably your batteries are running down. If your batteries run out, you lose your most basic level of fire protection.

Up to 20% of Des Moines smoke alarms in US residences have dead batteries. This always floors me. Test your smoke detector every month. It is simple. Just locate the test button on the cover of the alarm, push it in, and listen for a beep.

#3 Have you installed your Des Moines smoke alarm in the right Spot?

First, your smoke alarm should be installed on a wall or the ceiling only.

Second, you should take a walk through your home and check out every single smoke detector, one by one:

  • Has it been installed a minimum of 4 inches away from the nearest wall? Des Moines Smoke alarms are more likely to fail when they are in tight areas, like wall joints or corners.
  • Is it installed about 12 inches from the ceiling? Again, avoid corners.
  • Did you install it a minimum of 20 feet from heat-producing home appliances, such as ovens, stoves, and fireplaces? These appliances will damage your electronics. Without properly working electronics, your Des Moines smoke alarm's ability to warn you of a deadly fire is compromised.
  • Never install next to a window, door, vent, or anything that lets a draft through. Drafts reduce the effectiveness of Des Moines smoke detectors.

#4 Make sure your home has Dual-Sensor Des Moines Smoke Detectors

There are actually two different house fire types: flaming fires and smoldering fires. A lot of alarms will only be able to detect the presence of one type. Get yourself dual-sensing alarms and cover all your bases.

#5 Replace your Des Moines smoke detector every 10 years

The NFPA (National Fire Prevention Agency) has recommended that Des Moines smoke detectors be replaced once every 10 years. This makes sense. All electronic devices fail eventually--think about your iPod or your Xbox. You would not use those for more than 10 years, would you?

#6 Maintain your Des Moines Smoke Alarm

I often find them in homes that are dirty, missing too many parts, or warped from heat, These are the types of alarms that really fail when it counts--broken enough to not do the job, but not so broken that everyone would notice it.

Clean out your detector regularly too. Wipe out the flies, dust, and other debris. And remember; never EVER paint a Des Moines smoke detector for any reason. Paint covers your Des Moines smoke alarm's sensors and prevents it from working.

A lot of Des Moines smoke alarms that are missing covers too. Replace them. Covers can protect the sensitive electronics in your Des Moines smoke alarm. When they get exposed to the environment in your home, these parts can break down much more easily.

#7 Hard-Wire and Interconnect your Des Moines Smoke Alarms

Home fires will normally start in one specific area of the residence and spread quickly out of control. If you get your Des Moines smoke alarms hard-wired and interconnected, one smoke alarm detecting a fire with prompt all of them to sound the alarm. The extra time generated from this could give your family the extra time to rescue your family when a fire spreads quickly. The NFPA has recommended interconnecting and hard-wiring your Des Moines smoke detectors. This can be tough work, so consider hiring a licensed electrician to do it for you.

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