Does your smoke alarm chirp at you at the most inconvenient times? If so, you probably have older style models with 9-volt batteries. If you do, here’s your chance to learn about updating to newer smoke alarms with ten-year sealed batteries in them.
The National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code
Just like the electrical code, and other building codes that look out for consumer safety, your smoke alarms are subject to the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code (NFPA 2013 72). These standards ensure your safety in the event of a fire in your home. It requires smoke alarms to be interconnected and hard-wired, with a backup ten-year sealed battery.
Another part of the code has been updated to require smoke alarms in each bedroom. It also requires a minimum of one alarm device on each floor in a home, to include the basement.
When Are Smoke Alarms With Ten-Year Batteries Required?
Obviously, these requirements apply to new construction homes being built today. Other cases where they might be required include changes in ownership, tenants, or occupancy of the property. If it’s been more than ten years since the smoke alarms were updated, they should be replaced and installed in areas designated to meet code. It goes without saying that if your smoke alarms fail to pass a test, they should all be replaced with a ten-year battery model.
Can I Install My Smoke Alarms with Ten-Year Batteries?
If your smoke alarms are already interconnected, if one goes off, they all sound. If they are also hard-wired to the electrical system in your home and located per code, it may be possible for the homeowner to make the changes on their own. The most critical safety issue is to turn off the electrical power to the whole house before beginning the project. After turning off the full house power, you can remove the existing alarm and its base. Then you are ready to replace it with a new unit that contains the required ten-year sealed battery backup.
When Should I Call an Electrician?
If your home is older, you may not have a sufficient amount of hard-wired smoke alarms. They may not be interconnected or located as the code instructs. In this case, the project changes from a DIY job to a project that requires a licensed electrician.
At Deshaies Electrical Services in Odenton, Maryland, we can help you bring your units up to code. More importantly, we can ensure that your home is protected and that you are alerted if a fire should break out in your home.
If you’re not sure if you need to have your smoke alarms replaced, contact us today. We’ll come out and inspect your home to be sure that your devices are functioning correctly and using the latest requirements for home safety.
When you need to replace or add smoke detectors to your home or business, call Deshaies Electrical Services. We’ll make an appointment for one of our licensed electricians to come out, inspect your devices, and give you an estimate. Make sure that your home and family remain safe.