Smoke Detector Maintenance And Repair
Learn smoke detectors work and how to maintain and repair them.
You should have at least one smoke detector on each floor of your house. You should have one in each bedroom or along the nearby hallway. Install them on the ceiling, in the middle of the room. They can also be mounted along high walls near the ceiling. Don’t put a smoke detector in a corner or in a similar area in which air doesn’t circulate well.
How they work
Smoke detectors have photoelectric or ionization sensors inside them. Photoelectric sensors sense smoke particles in the air and respond to fumes. Ionization sensors sense atomic particles in the air and respond to heat. There doesn’t need to be smoke to trigger the ionization sensors; they simply are on the look out for hot fires. The best smoke detectors are ones that are attached to your home security system. These detectors will sound when there’s a fire, alerting everyone in the house to get out, and they will automatically dial up local emergency management crews to let them know to respond. If you have a home security system installed in your place, it’s a good idea to connect your smoke detector to that system.
How to repair your smoke detector
If you’re concerned about your smoke detector, the best thing for you to do is to clean it regularly. Dust accumulation can cause the detector not to respond as quickly to smoke or fire. Take apart your detector and dust it thoroughly with cotton swabs. Also, consider using a small vacuum cleaner, or an attachment to your vacuum cleaner to vacuum dust and debris away from your smoke detector.
If you ever fear that your smoke detector is not working properly, don’t take any chances: get a new one. They’re inexpensive, and it’s better to be sure you have one in working condition than to be uncertain.