If the last time you bought a smoke alarm was more than ten years ago, it's time to think about getting a new one. Experts indicate that dust, dirt and even bugs can get into an alarm and impede the sensors. It's difficult to estimate the lifespan of a smoke alarm, but after ten years, the service is less than reliable. No one wants to find out the hard way that a smoke alarm has failed.
Today's alarms are much different than those of just ten years ago. Technical advances have made smoke detectors easier to use and to maintain. Many new models have lithium batteries that will work for ten years without needing replacement. Some alarms use ionization and photoelectric sensors, the two major methods for detecting fire. Using an alarm with a dual sensor can detect any kind of fire immediately.
Smoke detectors with extremely loud sirens and bright lights are also available for the areas where handicapped or elderly people live. Carbon monoxide detectors are available to warn against the odorless gas that can kill without warning. Some carbon monoxide detectors come in combination with smoke alarms.
Most of the new alarms come with a button to silence the alarm if it is set off by cooking odors or other harmless reasons. The button will quiet the alarm until the current smoke clears, and then reset it. On older models, consumers would often silence the alarm and then forget to reset it which rendered the device useless.
HELPFUL TIP: Every other month, brush the vacuum brush across the face of the smoke alarm to remove the build-up of surface dust and dirt. Don't position alarms next to the stove or in other areas where they might be accidentally set off.
For more on appliance safety click here.
It's a good idea as well to discuss an evacuation plan with your family. Your local fire department can help you with instructions for fire safety and what do to in the event an alarm sounds.
The next time you are visiting Lowes Hardware or Home Depot, ask to speak with a knowledgeable salesperson, and ask them to show you the many NEW Smoke and Fire Detectors now on the market. The next alarm you buy today could save your life!
IMPORTANT: If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling a home, try searching properties on the same MLS Realtor's use, or give me a call....or visit my website at Palm Springs Real Estates. I will be happy to give you or your referral my "red carpet service." After the sale, I will send you a $50 Gift Certificate towards dinner so you can celebrate!
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