Did you know that your smoke detectors should be replaced every ten years? That’s right! Once a smoke alarm reaches the ripe age of 10, it has 30 percent failure rate. Every year across Minnesota, families are threatened by fires in the home, but with the help of a few simple fire safety tips and comprehensive home insurance coverage, you can keep your family safe. As your trusted local insurance agency in Blaine, MN, we want to make sure you have the right level of protection in the event of a fire. Keep reading for more information on how you can keep your family safe from fire with the right smoke detectors.
Smoke Alarm Safety Tips for Minnesota Homeowners
Do Your Current Smoke Detectors Work?
Your smoke detectors should be checked each month to make sure they are working properly. All you need to do is press the test button, and the alarm should sound. If the alarm doesn’t sound, your battery may need to be changed. If you have a hard-wired smoke alarm and it does not work, replace it immediately.
Replace Faulty or Old Smoke Detectors
Smoke alarms are only good for ten years, so they should be replaced according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. Some smoke detectors will actually warn homeowners that they are nearing the end of their life-cycle with a chirping sound, while others do not indicate at all. That’s why monthly testing is so important.
Invest in Interconnected Smoke Alarms
Hardwired interconnected smoke alarms all sound off at the same time, even if only one of them detects a fire. This is great for larger homes because you will be alerted of a fire even if you are on a different floor. When replacing an old or faulty smoke alarm, look for three connected wires. If you only see two connected wires and a 3rd that is simply capped, you have hardwired alarms that are not interconnected.
Place Detectors Throughout the Home
It is best to install some detectors throughout your home on every level to keep your family protected from a fire. This means that you should have detectors installed in every room, including hallways and your basement. Additionally, smoke alarms should be installed in attached garages.
Build an Interconnected Bridge
Smoke alarms can communicate with each other using radio frequency. This means that existing hardwired and battery-powered detectors can be interconnected with newer replacements via wireless technology. If the idea of running new wires throughout your home seems like a bit too much, use a hardwired interconnected bridge unit to link all of your smoke detectors together seamlessly.
Use Dual-Sensor Technology in Bedrooms
Ionization-type smoke detectors are best at responding to fast-moving and flaming fires. On the other hand, photoelectric detectors can identify steam and cooking smoke, making them ideal for kitchens and hallways. Dual-sensor smoke detectors incorporate both ionization and photoelectric technology. This type of detector is great for basements and hallways outside of bedrooms. But most fire prevention experts recommend using a photoelectric detector with an escape light and battery backup, along with a second unit that features both ionization and a carbon monoxide sensor in your bedrooms.
Keep Your Family Safe with Comprehensive Home Insurance Coverage
In addition to staying up-to-date with your smoke detector maintenance, investing in comprehensive home insurance coverage is the best way to protect your family in the event of a fire. Not sure what your current policy covers? Now is the perfect time to review your coverage with the help of our independent agents at Patriot Insurance Agency. Contact us online for more information and be sure to request a quote today!