Smoke detectors or fire alarms are an inevitable part of a house, industry, or building. It helps in detecting fire at an early stage because of the alarm, therefore preventing large casualties caused by fire. Many fatal accidents that happen in households and industries are mostly caused by fire. All these fire hazards not only lead to third-degree burns but also other health issues like acute lung diseases due to toxic fumes and gas inhalation, and mental and physical trauma. These fire mishappenings can also lead to the destruction of many large buildings, industries, and also properties that could be worth a fortune.
Most of these fires happen by accident or due to lack of attention, like faulty wiring of electric devices, discarded fires in the kitchen, or defective electronic devices. These mishaps and accidents can cause huge losses. To prevent these from happening, there are different safety measures you could follow, like fire alarms, fire extinguishers, carbon monoxide alarms, accessible emergency exits, etc.
Most fire smoke detectors run on batteries for six months; hence it would be ideal for you to change the batteries every six months before the detector chirps or beeps. It’s better to assign a day every six months on your calendar to check and change the batteries in your smoke detector so that you don’t have to worry about it in the future. The status and functioning of the fire alarm must also be checked from time to time to make sure you don’t have a defective one.
Smoke detectors and fire alarms must be installed irrespective of whether the place is fire-prone or not. If it’s a house, the fire alarms must be installed in every single room, basement, and other garage-like areas as well, not only in kitchens and chimney areas. These fire alarms must be interconnected so that when one alarm rings, simultaneously, all the other alarms start ringing. This would ensure that all the people inside the building heard it and could evacuate immediately. Fire alarms and smoke detectors could be connected to fire sprinklers systems so that when there is a fire, the sprinkler sprays water to put out the flame. If it’s a large house or building, you might need multiple fire alarms.
There are two types of smoke detectors: the one that runs on battery alone and the hard-wired one. Battery-based smoke detectors work only with the help of batteries alone, and these types of fire alarms alert you when they get to the low battery by making a chirp or beep sound. It’s better if you don’t wait for the second or final alert to change the batteries.
The hard-wired smoke detector works with the help of electricity, but it also has a battery backup for when the power might be out; hence there is a battery present in that as well. You ought to check the status of the battery every six months.
Fire alarms and smoke detectors are available in different models from different brands. A user manual would be available with each and every model that clearly states all the information about the model and how it can be used and handled. Each brand and its models have different settings and distinct features.
Step 1: Some fire alarms would be battery-based, and some would be hard-wired; even if the smoke detectors are wired, they might have batteries, as it’s necessary for all the wired fire alarms to have battery backups.
Hence, the first step is to turn the fire alarm and fire security alarm off so it’s safe for you to remove them.
Step 2: You will have to remove the smoke detector from the wall or the ceiling as to where it has been installed. Some smoke detectors are twist-open models, so they can be removed with a clockwise turn; on the other hand, some fire alarms might be screwed to the ceiling, so you will have to be very gentle and careful while unscrewing them.
Some other smoke detector models need not be removed at all; the battery of those can be changed while it’s on the ceiling in its installed position itself. To change the batteries of those models, you will need a big ladder or something of height to climb on, so you can comfortably and safely change the batteries of the fire alarm.
Take a look at the user manual to clearly understand how each step should be done according to the model you own.
Step 3: Once you have taken the detector from the wall, open the cover. A gentle twist or slide should be enough to open the covers of most of the smoke detectors, yet some others are probably screwed in, hence you will have to carefully unscrew them. Don’t be clumsy while dealing with screws and screwdrivers. Make sure that you don’t lose any parts of the fire alarm.
Most detectors will have a separate small slide opening for the batteries. If that’s the case, the replacement of batteries must be very simple, but some others don’t, so the whole internal of the detector will be visible to us. Inside you will find the three main parts of the fire alarm: the sensing area, the alarm, and the battery. It wouldn’t be hard for you to locate the battery.
Step 4: When you open the cover, the battery will be visible to you. How and where the battery is located varies from model to model. Now you can remove the old battery and replace it with a new one. Make sure you always use the same model battery so you can estimate the lifespan of the battery.
Make sure that the negative and positive connections are accurately aligned. It’s ideal for you to replace the battery even if it’s not completely worn off, because then you don’t have to worry about it later, and you can use the removed battery in some other devices like your television remote, remote control cars, remote control gaming gear, etc.
Step 5: Place the cover back on the detector. If it has a slide-to-remove base, it’s quite easy and fast, but if it’s a screw-based opening model, make sure you screw in all the sides tightly and carefully. Once you have fixed the cover back on the fire alarm, the detector must be screwed to the ceiling or wall safely and tightly, or if it’s a twist-open model, it should be turned anti-clockwise to fix it frictionally locked into the socket.
Make sure the fire alarm is perfectly and safely installed back on the ceiling or the high wall as to where it has to be installed.
Step 6: Once your battery is replaced, there is one more important step to be done. That is to test the smoke detector. You can test the fire alarm by pressing the test button on the detector. The detector must make a beep sound when the test button is pressed. If it fails to do so, try checking if the batteries are accurately placed and also check for any malfunctions or defects. If your fire alarm system is a defective one, consider replacing it and getting a new one for good.
Testing of fire alarms is important so as to make sure the fire alarm is working properly.
There would be a user manual with every smoke detector that clearly conveys what kind of fire alarm it is and how it should be handled.
Most people tend to install the fire alarm once and eventually forget about it. This happens due to ignorance and the busy schedule they have to keep up with. They forget or deliberately ignore when it’s time to change batteries or do monitoring and checking on the smoke detectors. This negligence leads to severe and fatal fire hazards, loss of life, and property damage.
So here are some tips on how to safely handle the fire alarm.
Fire hazard control measures are not confined to fire alarms, fire extinguishers, and carbon monoxide alarms. Every single person’s responsibility is to take safety measures for fire calamities. If it’s a building or an industry, keeping the emergency escape route clean and obstacle-free can make it easier for evacuation. You could conduct mock fire drills on a regular basis. The supervisor or caretaker should ensure that a fire extinguisher is installed in all or most of the rooms. It would be a much safer environment if the entire building was located in an area where firefighters could easily access it and every floor had an emergency exit door. In a normal household, you could prevent most of the mishaps by taking good care and responsibility. Nothing should be neglected by stating it as feeble, just like a small candle near the bedspread can lead to fatal accidents. If you have a chimney in your living room, make sure you clean it regularly. Don’t leave the stove on.
By following these many simple steps, you can prevent injuring yourself and your loved ones from fatal accidents by fire and also prevent numerous collateral damage and property loss.