Did you know it is National Fire Prevention Week? From October 6-12, 2013, the entire nation pauses to promote fire safety and prevention.
Fire Safety Checklist
- Teach your children at a young age the importance of fire safety. Matches, lighters, and candles are not toys.
- It may seem silly, but teach everyone the “Stop, Drop, and Roll” technique. It could save a life.
- Be sure to designate two fire escape routes from each bedroom. And practice your escape plan regularly so everyone knows what to do in the case of an emergency.
- Comply with the new Maryland Smoke Alarm Law (see below).
Many potential fire hazards go unnoticed until it is too late. And most can be corrected with a few proactive steps and some common sense. For example, make sure all flammable items are at least three feet away from portable heaters or cameras, never smoke in bed, never operate electrical appliances with frayed cords, and make sure your smoke alarms are fully operational.
Maryland Smoke Alarm Law
- Under Maryland law, homeowners are required to replace all BATTERY-ONLY smoke alarms with new alarms powered by sealed-in, 10-year long-life batteries.
- Both hardwired and battery-operated smoke alarms need to be replaced every 10 years. If your smoke alarm has not been replaced since 2003, it’s time! Just because the light is on and it beeps when tested does not mean that it will sense smoke when needed. This is a National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) code standard.
- By law, smoke alarms are required to be located outside of all sleeping areas and on every level of the home, including the basement (finished or unfinished).
- For homes constructed since 1994, smoke alarms are required by law to be placed inside all sleeping areas.
- Homeowners have until January 1, 2018 to comply with the new Maryland Smoke Alarm Law
Smoke Alarm Technology
Technology has changed in recent years and we can now install interconnected smoke detectors via RF wireless that will communicate with each level and room within the home. The benefit to this is that we can now accomplish this without cutting drywall and fishing wiring between the devices to interconnect them. We can add a hardwired unit anywhere in the home and then have it communicate with other hardwired or battery-only locations so that when one goes off they all go off.
The other thing that we should mention is that recently they have come out with hardwired smoke/carbon monoxide detectors that can be installed on the existing house system as upgrades to the old system. These combination units will also voice announce the type of detection that is triggering the alarm for smoke or carbon.
We recommend the hardwired units with battery backup for all areas to get the maximum protection for standard smokes or the combination units.
Smoke Alarm & CO Detector Installation
Here at TriStar Electric, we have been installing hardwired smoke alarms and CO detectors throughout Maryland, Washington DC, and Northern Virginia for several years. Let us help keep you and your loved ones safe. Give us a call today and we will send one of our electricians out to visit your home and provide a thorough inspection of your smoke alarms. If you have older smoke alarms, they can be easily retrofitted with equipment that allows them to connect to the newer models. This way, when one detector goes off, all of them will sound an alarm.
If you are interested in having CO or smoke alarms installed, TriStar is here for you! Our electricians can provide you with a proposal that ensures your home and family are protected, while staying within your budget.
If you have any questions National Fire Prevention Week or the new Maryland Smoke Alarm Law, please contact TriStar Electric, Maryland’s premier residential and commercial electrician, by calling 410-799-5791 or 301-384-8880 or fill out the contact form on our website. You can also follow TriStar Electric on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and YouTube.
National Fire Prevention Week (October 6-12, 2013) About.com Washington DC