Smoke alarms are devices that can save your life! They alert you when smoke is present in your home. When you are sleeping, they are your “nose at night” and can help you escape safely in the event of a fire.
Would you like to help our neighbors on fixed or low incomes? You can make a donation to the Firestar Fund through the Valley of the Sun United Way. This is a tax-deductible donation!
Some of the newer smoke alarms can use lithium batteries. While lithium batteries usually cost more, they last much longer - as much as five to seven years longer than a 9 volt battery.
Currently, smoke alarms are produced that use both ionization and photoelectric sensors. These “dual sensing” alarms offer better protection for your family. Several of the dual sensing models can also use long-life lithium batteries.
Using a dual sensing smoke alarm with a lithium battery offers the safest protection for you and your family.
Phoenix city ordinance G-5898-2014 specifies that a smoke alarm cannot remain in service longer than 10 years from the date of manufacture. Smoke alarms are permitted to be solely battery-operated in existing buildings where no construction is taking place, provided the smoke alarm is UL-listed with a sealed 10-year lithium battery.
Where to install smoke alarms
The Phoenix Fire Department recommends that every home have a smoke alarm outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home including basements. For the most protection, install a smoke alarm in each bedroom.
Hallways longer than 30 feet should have a smoke alarm at each end.
Install smoke alarms at the top of each stairwell.
Smoke alarms in kitchens should be kept away from cooking fumes or smoking areas.
Install smoke alarms on walls at least 12 inches from the ceiling.
Smoke alarms can be installed on ceilings but be kept at least 18 inches away from dead air space near walls and corners.
As of April 2014, homeowners must install 10-year, sealed-battery smoke alarms when replacing outdated, missing or damaged units
Where smoke alarms should not be installed
Do not install smoke alarms near fireplaces and wood stoves. This will cause “false alarms”.
Drafts can affect how the smoke alarm works, so avoid windows and doors.
Never place a smoke alarm closer than three feet from an air register that could recirculate smoke.
Do not install smoke alarms in laundry rooms or garages.
Take care of your smoke alarms
Vacuum your smoke alarms every month.
Never paint your smoke alarms.
Replace batteries when you hear a chirping, popping or beeping sound.
Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years. Check manufacturer’s instructions when purchasing any smoke alarm.
Remember, when it comes to smoke alarms,
Get it! Purchase the correct number of smoke alarms you need for your home.
Check it! Check your smoke alarm every month to make sure the batteries are still working.
Change it! Replace the dead batteries with new ones to make sure your smoke alarm is in good working order and to ensure your family’s safety.