How does a smoke alarm work?
A smoke alarm monitors the air for smoke, and the invisible particles produced by combustion. It sounds an alarm when it detects them.
How are smoke alarms powered?
Most new smoke alarms are powered by 10 year lithium ion batteries. In Illinois, a new State law will require 10 year smoke alarms in all dwellings without hard-wired smoke detectors. Older smoke alarms are fitted with a 9 volt battery which should be changed twice a year to insure the smoke alarm will work reliably when needed. Illinois law requires any dwelling unit constructed or remodeled after December 31, 1987 to have 110v hard-wired smoke alarms. Additionally, if there are multiple smoke alarms within a dwelling they must be wired so activation of one will cause all to sound.
Where can I purchase a smoke alarm?
Smoke alarms can be purchased at hardware stores, supermarkets and from electrical appliance retailers. The Zion Fire / Rescue department will be happy to assist you in determining the proper type and number of alarms to purchase.
What does a smoke alarm cost to buy?
Generally, a smoke alarm will cost between $10.00 to $25.00. As long as they have the UL or FM seal of approval they will be more than suitable for installation in residential properties. Many smoke alarms come with a 5 year warranty.
How should smoke alarms be mounted?
Smoke rises, rilling the highest area of a house first. Therefore, smoke alarms work best when mounted on the ceiling or high on the wall.
How many smoke alarms do I need?
At least one for each floor of your house, including the basement.
What rooms should the smoke alarms go in?
The sleeping areas should have a single alarm in the hallway. Additional alarms should be place in the living areas and in the bedrooms. Multi-story homes should have at least one alarm on each level. Do not put smoke alarms in the kitchen, bathroom or garage unless the alarms is specifically designed for such use.
The smoke, steam and fumes which occur in these rooms will set the alarm off all the time.
What maintenance is needed for smoke alarms?
Smoke alarms are fitted with a test button to check the unit for operation. When the button is pressed for several seconds, the alarm should sound. This test should be done once each month to assure proper operation. Battery powered alarms should have the batteries changed twice a year. A good time to remember is in the spring when you move your clock ahead and in the fall when you move you clock back.
What should I do if the smoke alarm sounds?
The value of an alarm is early warning of a fire. Those few minutes are vital to get out of the house safely. By having an exit drill in the home, planned before an emergency, you and your family will know what to do if a fire situation occurs.
If you have any further questions or concerns about smoke alarms, you can contact the Zion Fire/Rescue Department by calling (847) 746-4036.