Photo By tab62 at Shutterstock
Despite their life-saving capabilities, it’s alarming that most U.S. homeowners take smoke detectors for granted. Data reveals that 16 percent of Americans never bother to test their smoke detector, while 20 percent have deactivated them completely. What’s even shocking is that about 1 in 10 homeowners in the United States don’t have a smoke detector in their homes.
Did you know that a functioning smoke alarm lowers the risk of dying by 50 percent? Well, you can avoid becoming another statistic by installing a smoke detector in your house and testing it once a month to ensure it’s functioning properly as recommended by the U.S. Fire Administration. Also, this would ensure that your insurance policy is not invalidated in case of a fire outbreak, and it’s discovered that your smoke detector wasn’t maintained.
To ensure that your smoke detector is well maintained, it must get replaced once it reaches the 10 year mark. If you continue using it after 10 years from the date of manufacture, then it may lose sensitivity and become unable to detect smoke efficiently.
Knowing how often to replace your smoke detector will give you peace of mind, knowing your family and property will be safe. Please continue reading to know the signs that will let you know that it’s time to replace your old smoke detector with a new one.
Yellow Smoke Detector
This giveaway trick will help you know that your smoke detector is aging. Contrary to popular opinion, yellow is not due to exposure to dust in the air or cigarette smoke. Electricians have identified a substance known as bromine in the smoke detectors used as a flame retardant. The job of this substance is to protect the smoke detector from fire and alert homeowners when it detects smoke in the house.
Over time, bromine causes the smoke detector to turn yellow due to exposure to external elements such as UV light, heat, or oxygen. This process takes time to take place, and by the time you notice the yellow color, it means the smoke detector is old, and you contact an electrician in Myrtle Beach, SC, to install a new one.
The Alarm Goes Off For No Reason
For maximum safety, homeowners want smoke detectors that are quick to detect even the slightest hint of smoke from a fire. However, no one wants this device to beep every time a piece of dust blows by.
While most smoke alarms lose their sensitivity as they age, some start to detect issues that don’t exist. This causes your smoke alarm to go off every time at random.
Some infuriated folks take down these alarms and remove the batteries to silence the detectors. However, this puts their home at risk of fire when they disconnect the alarm. The best solution is to have them replaced.
Frequent Chirping Sound
Beeping detectors can be annoying, especially if it’s a false alarm. An endless chirp every 30 to 60 seconds signifies a low battery problem. Homeowners can easily resolve this problem by changing the battery quickly, whether the detector is hardwired with a battery backup or operates entirely on batteries.
But sometimes, you can change the battery, but the alarm continues making the same sound! Or worse, it loudly goes off without any reason interfering with peace in your home.
If the smoke detector is the type that beeps at regular intervals when it detects smoke, then you may have to switch it off; otherwise, manually, it will keep chirping.
Some smoke alarms may ring until doomsday. If a battery powers it, it will chirp until the battery runs out. Those hardwired by an electrician may beep until switched off manually. Electricians recommend this alarm for safety purposes because the power supply is continuous, thus it will work incessantly until the end of its shelf life. Below are some of the reasons your alarm could be chirping:
- Low Battery
If your smoke detector uses batteries to operate, it may start beeping when the battery is low. If you don’t replace batteries to stop this torment, the sound may persist until the device entirely runs out of power.
- The Alarm May Require Replacement
If the sound continues after putting in fresh batteries or after an electrician has hardwired this alarm, then this is a severe problem. In this case, it simply means your smoke alarm needs to be replaced right away.
The Smoke Detector Fails To Respond When Tested
Approximately 60 percent of deaths in the United States occur in homes without working smoke detectors. That’s the reason the U.S. Fire Administration advises homeowners to test their smoke detectors at least once a month. Testing the smoke alarm is simple; all required is to press a “test” button based on the smoke detector to ensure this device is properly functioning.
A well-functioning smoke detector should beep loudly many times; hence, you won’t have to be concerned with replacing it. On the other hand, a smoke detector that’s not working as required will not chirp, or it produces subdued sounds.
To be on the safer side, it’s essential to follow the U.S. Fire Administration’s guidelines for smoke detectors in residential properties, such as testing the smoke alarm frequently and replacing aged devices promptly.
The Smoke Detector Contains Faulty Parts That Led to a Recall
This may sound like too much work, but as a responsible homeowner, you should be doing some research to see if any recall has been done on the type of smoke detector in your home.
This is because several smoke detectors have been recalled due to defective parts found in the device. For instance, in 2018, a total of 180,000 smoke alarms were recalled because they could not work during a fire.
If you find out that your smoke alarm is one of those that are being recalled, you can have it replaced to save you and your family as well as property. Also, you can always consult with a trusted electrician in Myrtle Beach, SC, since they are continuously updated on regulations regarding these devices.
Mister Sparky of Myrtle Beach: Your Trusted Electrician in Myrtle Beach, SC
It would be best to have smoke detectors that you can rely on. If there are signs that your smoke alarms may not be working at their full capacity, you should have a qualified electrician check and replace them.
When it’s time to replace your home’s smoke detection system, you can rely on Mister Sparky of Myrtle Beach. Our trained and experienced electricians will ensure that your family and property are safe from fire, carbon monoxide, and other electrical hazards. Call us today!