Currently, the California State Building Code mandates smoke alarms to be installed in 1 the corridor outside the bedrooms, 2 each bedroom, and 3 on every level, regardless of whether that floor has a bedroom. The new code will remove this last requirement so long as an alarm goes off in at least one bedroom on a given floor.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that you install smoke detectors in all sleeping rooms of the house. They say that if you are living in an apartment building or community home where all units aren't identical, then you should still install smoke detectors in each unit, even if they're not required by law.
Your best defense against fire is a working smoke alarm. The more types of sensors you have deployed throughout your home, the better prepared you will be if someone triggers any alarm signals. It's recommended that you replace batteries annually, but we know that can be difficult when you're trying to keep up with your regular maintenance tasks. In addition, some models now come with solar panels that charge batteries when sunlight isn't available. These are known as solar-powered smoke alarms and can help extend their life span.
But despite the efforts that manufacturers have made to improve smoke alarms over time, they remain vulnerable to damage from water and other hazards.
Installing smoke detectors Install smoke alarms in each bedroom, outside each sleeping space, and throughout the home, including the basement. Install alarms in the living room (or den or family room) or near the stairs to the higher floor on levels without bedrooms, or in both places. Have one installed in every bathroom. Change the battery at least once a year.
The best place for your smoke detector is where you will actually see it. That's why it's important to install them properly so they can alert you of an fire when you are away from home. Make sure that you test your smoke alarm monthly by sitting with your back to a closed door or window for 30 minutes while wearing earplugs. If your alarm goes off during this time, then there is no problem with its operation. Otherwise, you need to replace it.
If you have any questions about where to locate smoke detectors in your home, feel free to ask them here. Someone should be able to help you out.
Smoke alarms are required by law to be installed in every bedroom or sleeping area. Other areas of the home that are considered dangerous if they do catch on fire include: kitchens, laundry rooms, and dining rooms. Smoke alarms should be located away from other household items that could cause a false alarm such as heaters, space heaters, and cooking devices.
Household cleaners, pesticides, and other chemicals can be harmful if ingested so it's important to keep them out of reach of children. Use only as directed! If you feel like you have an emergency situation, call 911 immediately.
Fire extinguishers are needed in all rooms of the house. Make sure you know how to use them correctly.
The number one cause of fire damage in homes is smoking. Be sure to keep cigarettes and cigars out of sight and odor-free conditions. If you do smoke, use ash trays and dispose of cigarette butts properly.
Children's rooms need special attention too. You should ensure that walkways are not blocked by toys, and that sliding doors can be opened easily from outside the room. Keep window coverings closed and locked when not in use to prevent children from climbing into windows or opening doorways.
907.2.11.5 Installation of residential smoke alarms in existing structures Smoke alarms must be placed in the following structures, as required by the Uniform Statewide Building Code, in accordance with the authority given in Section 15.2-922 of the Code of Virginia (1950, as amended): 1. All buildings comprising one (1) or more residential units. 2. Multiunit dwellings consisting of not more than four (4) stories or 45 meters (148 feet) or less in height. 3. Hospitals.
The installation requirements contained in 907.2.11.5 of the National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA) "Code for Smoke Alarms in Residential Buildings" apply to smoke alarms purchased after January 1, 1999. An appliance that complies with the UL 1442 standard is approved for use in residential applications.
Prior to January 1, 1999, the requirement that smoke alarms be installed in all dwelling units was found in Article 7 of the Code which provided: "Smoke alarms shall be installed in all sleeping rooms and on all floors of the building." This requirement has been removed from the Code because there is no evidence that it reduces fire deaths or injuries. However, owners are still encouraged to install smoke alarms in their homes.
In addition to the mandatory installations mentioned above, NFPA recommends that you install smoke alarms in other important areas such as kitchens, dining rooms, living rooms, and porches. You should also install them in child's bedrooms and bathrooms.
Installation of Smoke Alarms Because smoke from one location may not reach a smoke alarm in another, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends installing at least one smoke alarm on each level of the house (including basements), in each bedroom, and outside each sleeping space. Change the battery annually or more often if recommended by the manufacturer.
Fire Detection In addition to alarm systems, smoke detectors can be used to warn people living in fire-prone buildings that there is a fire inside their homes. This helps people avoid injury as they try to escape dangerous fires. Smoke detectors work by measuring the amount of soot and other particles in air flow caused by burning material. If these measurements exceed certain thresholds, an alarm will sound. People who are deaf or hard of hearing use the alarms' flashing lights or music instead.
False alarms Due to faulty sensors or outdated technology, some smoke alarms will alert people to the presence of smoke when there is actually no danger. These false alarms can cause residents to become desensitized to the warnings, thus reducing their effectiveness at alerting people to actual fires. The most common cause of false alarms is smoking in rooms with smoke detectors. The nicotine in cigarette smoke inhibits the ability of some sensors to detect smoke, causing false alarms to occur. Other causes include natural phenomena such as windblown curtains and cooking food with high fat content.
The solution? Test your smoke alarms regularly.