Fall has returned to the Capital District of upstate New York, and that means temperatures will be dropping and heat sources like furnaces and fireplaces will once again be well used.
At Family Danz Heating & Cooling, we want all of our neighbors to live safe and healthy lives in the sanctity of their homes. We encourage everyone to remember to not only change their smoke alarm batteries in the fall and spring, but even beyond that to take a look at your own general smoke alarm safety. Many people have inadequate, or even worse, nonfunctional smoke alarms in their homes, and that can lead to tragedy that could have easily been prevented.
According to the National Fire Prevention Association, all smoke alarms should be replaced when they are 10 years old. The date of manufacture is right on the back. But any smoke alarm that doesn’t respond to your testing — and always remember to test them regularly — should be replaced right away. If you have the combination smoke alarm-carbon monoxide alarms, you can check with the manufacturer’s specific recommendations to see when they should be replaced.
The best way to maintain a constant warning system is to have the right number of smoke alarms in the right places throughout the home. Smoke alarms, with the label of a respected testing laboratory, should be in every bedroom, outside the sleeping areas and on every floor of your home. If you have no bedrooms on a floor, install an alarm in the living room or family room and in the stairway to the upper level. Don’t forget the basement … those alarms should be in the ceiling at the bottom of the stairs going up.
In the kitchen, smoke alarms should be at least 10 feet from any oven or other cooking device so you don’t get the false alarms that prompt you to remove the battery. We’ve all forgotten to put the battery back in, so don’t promote a situation where that is likely to happen. Because smoke rises, the alarms should be high on the walls not more than 12 inches from the ceiling, or even mounted to the ceiling. Never install them near windows, doors, or drafty ducts.
If you are redecorating, make sure not to paint the smoke alarm. That paint, or any other kind of decoration for that matter, can interfere with its function.
If your smoke alarm alerts you to a serious fire problem, the first call to make after everyone is safe is to the fire department. But if you ever notice anything odd about the function of your furnace, maybe a strange smell or weird noise while it’s running, give Family Danz a call right away. We’ll check it out and make sure everything is running the way it should. It’ll definitely be a lot easier to call us now than after that smoke alarm emergency.
Family Danz Heating & Cooling is a full-service heating and air conditioning contractor, offering sales and service all through the Capital District of New York State. If you would like more information on any of our services, call us today at 518-427-8685.