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Most fires occur at night when people are sleeping. A smoke detector can alert you when there is a fire, in time to save your life. Smoke detectors work by sensing rising smoke from a fire and sounding an alarm.
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Smoke rises, so the best place to install a detector is on the ceiling or high on an inside wall, just below the ceiling.
In a Multi-level home, a detector is needed on each level. If you normally sleep with your doors closed it is a good idea to have a detector inside each bedroom as well as in the hallway.
You may consider purchasing one of the following types of smoke detectors:
Both are equally effective and neither require that you be familiar with its inner workings. As long as you buy a detector that is tested by a major testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL), you can be assured it has met certain testing requirements.
Detectors can be powered two ways:
Batteries: These are the easiest to install. They require no outlets or wiring connection, however, batteries must be replaced twice a year. We recommend you change them in the spring and in the fall when you change your clocks. All UL listed battery operated detectors are required to sound a trouble signal when a replacement is needed. The signal usually lasts 7 days, so it's advised to check the efficiency of the detector following extended periods away.
Household current: Detectors can be powered with household current two ways. They can be plugged into any wall socket or can be wired permanently into your home's electrical system. Some may also have a battery backup
Dirt, extreme changes in temperature and cooking exhaust can cause a false alarm or malfunction of the detector. To prevent false alarms, locate the detector away from air vents, air conditioners and fans. Keep the grill work free of dirt by occasional vacuuming and dusting.
Don't paint the cover of a smoke detector as this may clog the grill work. Test your detector every month, or more often if necessary to make sure it's working. This is usually done with the test button, if provided.