- Posted by Hinged
I’m a worrier. I toss and turn in my sleep and at some point, almost every night I wake up worrying about my kids, family, dog, work, house, cars, even characters in whatever book I’m reading. The list is endless. I have found that the more things I can take off my list, the better I sleep and the less I worry. Knowing that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors will wake us in the unlikely event a fire breaks out or an appliance malfunctions in our house, at night eases a major worry. Hopefully you have them, if not get some, detectors – not worries.
By code there should be a smoke detector in every bedroom and one outside every bedroom area. With the result being a minimum of one per floor, not including the bedrooms on each floor. For carbon monoxide detectors, the code requirement is one outside of but within ten feet of every bedroom. They do make detectors that are combined smoke and carbon monoxide. It is recommended that the batteries be changed in the detectors every year. If nothing else this will save you hours of trying to figure out where that annoying intermittent chirp is coming from. The beginning of the year is a good time to get this done. Most detectors twist off their mounting brackets to access the battery compartment and do not require any special tools for changing the batteries. Holding the reset button down for about 20 seconds while the detector is disconnected will reset the unit if there are any stored error codes. This will avoid having a detector with a fresh battery start to chirp. If you’re too busy or need specialty ladders to reach your detectors, Hinged has vetted pros available under Misc. Small Items that handle this service.
The life span of most smoke detector is ten years. After that they may not go off when needed. For carbon monoxide detectors, it is between five and seven years depending on the manufacturer. Putting a little hash mark with a marker on the inside of your unit every time you change the battery is a good way to keep track of how old it is. Even with a digital calendar, the odds of your reminder note still being in the calendar you’re using in ten years is pretty slim, so old school marks may actually be more reliable.
If you have a built-in alarm system, chances are that your smoke detection system is powered from that and your detectors don’t have batteries. This saves you the annual chore of swapping out the batteries, but means that when your system has reached the end of its lifespan, you will need a professional to change out the components. If you have been in your home for ten or more years, chances are this should be done soon. Most appliance seem to last only about ten years, so if your appliances are starting to breakdown, your alarm system probably needs to be updated too.
When the power goes out, the built-in alarm system relies on a small back-up battery and like any battery these also have a definite lifespan. Most manufacturers recommend that they be replaced after five to six years. This is a pretty simple procedure as the batteries just plug in, but they’re not available at your local hardware store, so you either have to order online, or go to your alarm company. The issue is that if your power goes out after a major storm, the alarm system could go down. Without electricity, you’re more apt to use your fireplace or misuse your stove or oven for heating and your chances of having a home fire goes way up. If you’re running a portable generator, even outside your home, there is an increase in the likelihood of your home filling with carbon monoxide. The detection system will be down just when you need it most.
Replacing depleted batteries and out of date equipment is an easy way to eliminate more than a few worries. My advice is to not procrastinate, deal with your detection and alarm systems this January so that you can sleep better and worry less for a whole year.