According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 75% of civilian fire deaths and 72% of reported injuries were caused by home fires. Additionally, from 201-2019, fire departments responded to an average of 346,800 home fires each year. Some of the most common causes of home fires were cooking, heating, electrical and lighting equipment, and smoking.
Smoke Detector Basics
According to Ga. Code § 25-2-40, smoke detectors are required in all new dwellings and dwelling units (with some exceptions). Smoke detectors are your first line of defense against home fires. Having adequate, functioning smoke detectors throughout your home is vital to keeping yourself, your family, and your pets safe in the event of a home fire.
You should have smoke detectors in the following areas of your home:
- On every level of your home, including basements
- Inside each bedroom, including guest rooms and rooms that have been converted into bedrooms
- Living rooms, family rooms, and/or common areas
- Near or inside stairwells and hallways
- Inside your kitchen or areas where fire risk is greater, such as areas where you are cooking or using heat or fire, such as a workshop
- Inside garages and outbuildings
Today, many smoke detectors also do double duty and serve as CO2 detectors as well. However, not all do, so check to ensure you know which type of detector you have. If you do not have smoke or CO2 detectors in the required areas, contact our team to have the missing detectors installed or replace your existing detectors with 2-in-1 models.
Do I Really Need a Smoke Detector in My Kitchen?
Yes, you should have a smoke detector installed in your kitchen. It is common for people to avoid installing smoke detectors in their kitchens because they want to prevent them from going off while cooking, but this is exactly why you want a smoke detector there. Many home fires begin in the kitchen, resulting from grease fires, unattended pots on the stove, or food forgotten in the oven.
Never Disable Your Smoke Detector
If you have a small kitchen and your smoke detector is going off frequently, it can be tempting to remove the battery or cover it with something so that smoke from cooking doesn’t set it off. While we appreciate that your smoke detector going off every time you cook is annoying, you should never disable your smoke detector.
Instead of disabling your smoke detector, we recommend figuring out why your smoke alarm goes off every time you cook and then working to combat the root cause. For example, utilizing your stove’s exhaust fan while cooking can help keep cooking fumes from reaching the detector. Opening a window while you cook can also help.
Schedule Professional Smoke Detector Installation
Smoke detectors are hard-wired into your electrical system. Consequently, they should always be installed by a professional electrician, like ours at Lightning Bug Electric. By working with an experienced electrician, you can ensure that your smoke detectors are installed safely and correctly and that you can rely on them to work when needed.
Tips for keeping your smoke detectors in good working condition:
- Test your smoke detectors monthly
- Dust and remove cobwebs from detectors regularly
- Replace batteries yearly
- Replace detectors every ten years
If you hear a single beep, it means the battery needs to be replaced. When this happens, replace the battery immediately. If you find that your detector is draining batteries very quickly, call one of our electricians to have it checked. This could mean a problem with either your detector or your electrical system.
Are you having issues with your smoke detectors? Call Lightning Bug Electric for help today.