Can Having Smoke Detectors Save Lives?

“Smoke and poisonous gases are the leading causes of death in fires, and can kill a person long before the flames will.” Mayor Jonathan Fritz, Fire Prevention Week 2010

Do you know that last year $6 billion worth of property was damaged due to home fires?

Do you know that almost every 3 hours a person loses their life and every 28 minutes a person sustains injury in America as a result of a home fire?

If you have recently moved to Atlanta, GA, then in all probability you are staying in a luxurious apartment located in a high-rise building that boasts of all the amenities including a smoke detector. At the same time, it would also be equally true that even though you have been living in a luxurious apartment or home within the last 6 months or more, have you actually checked to see if the smoke detector works properly?

The sad reality is that almost 95% of America’s homes have only one smoke detector. Still, 60% of the home fires and 65% of burn cases are reported from homes with only one smoke detector. This is because most smoke detectors installed in older homes in Atlanta have become outdated. Also, in modern buildings one-third of these devices do not work due to lack of attention and maintenance.

According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), smoke detectors are one of the “must have” safety devices that should be installed in every home. These devices should be hard-wired into the electrical system with a battery back-up in case the power fails in the middle of the night. NFPA further claims that by installing these devices on your premises, you can reduce the risk of fire related accidents and deaths by almost 60%.

However, there is a catch. Just installing these devices is not enough to ensure the safety of your family. In order to protect your property and your loved ones these devices require maintenance to ensure their functionality. Many of us have used the services of Atlanta electricians to have smoke detectors installed in our home, but do we actually bother to replace the batteries on a regular basis? Did you know that when the battery is low, the detector will beep every 60 seconds?

If you are planning to call an electrician in Atlanta to install a smoke detector in your home, keep the following things in mind:

  • Strategic placement: The correct placement of these devices can really help save lives. If you live in a multi-story building, smoke detectors should be installed on every level, inside the bedrooms, outside the sleeping quarters, and all the devices should be interlocked. When the devices are interlocked all will go off at the same time.

Do not place them too close to the fireplaces or kitchen area to avoid nuisance alarms. However, ensure that they are placed near windows, ceiling fans, bathrooms and heating appliances.

  • Periodic Check will always help: You should replace the batteries annually and test the device at least once a month to ensure that it is working properly. You should also replace the smoke detectors themselves every 8-10 years as they don’t last forever.
  • Come up with a fire escape plan along with installing smoke detectors

A fire can start in anyone’s home, but when you call an Atlanta electrician to install your smoke detectors, you will have taken the first step to ensure a stronger defense that could help save the lives of you and your loved ones.

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