Protecting Your Home
Why would you hire a professional for your smoke detector installation? Don’t you just put in batteries and hang them up? Not necessarily. Yes, there is the battery-powered style smoke detector, installation is just a matter of installing the batteries and place where everyone will hear them, like a bedroom or hallway. These are the most common of smoke detectors.
There is also hard-wired smoke detector, installation is more detailed and complicated, which is why we recommend having them installed by a professional. You’re now asking yourself, “Do I need an electrician to replace hardwired smoke detectors?” and the answer is it is not necessary, but it is our recommendation. Smoke detector installation should be taken seriously due to the nature of the matter. The National Fire Prevention Association reports that due to fabrics and materials that are in a home today, a household fire spreads quickly.
Your home’s floor plan will determine how many smoke detectors you should have and where they should be placed. By having an electrician or a technician that is certified and licensed to work with electrical wiring complete your hard-wired smoke detector installation, you can be confident there is an adequate amount in the right places.
If your hardwired smoke detector installation isn’t done correctly, even with battery backup, they may not accomplish the intended purpose of having smoke detectors. If they are powered by the house’s main electrical circuit and have a battery backup, why wouldn’t they work? Ask yourself, when was the last time you changed the batteries in your current smoke detectors?
Where should smoke detectors be placed?
By having your hard-wired smoke detector installation done by a professional, you won’t need to worry with placement. They have been trained and know the correct placement according to the National Fire Prevention Association recommendations.
However, if you are using battery operated, or want to do the hard wiring smoke detector installation yourself, make sure there is one inside every bedroom or justoutside the door of the sleeping area, like a common hallway.
There should be a smoke detector on each floor of your home and in the basement. The den or family room and near any stairways. You should have a smoke detector installation in the kitchen, near every bathroom, and in the laundry room. Other specific smoke detector installation areas recommended are:
- Recommended placement for a smoke detector installation in the basement is on the ceiling at the stairs leading out.
- Smoke detector installation should be installed within at least 10 feet of a cooking appliance to minimize any false alarms while cooking.
- Smoke detector installation for rooms with high ceilings should be one foot down from the ceiling, keeping in mind that smoke rises.
- With pitched ceilings, smoke detector installation should be within 3 feet of the top and no higher than four inches from the top of the peak.
Do smoke alarms need to be on the same circuit?
The electrical code may vary from city to city, but most do not require that there be a dedicated circuit for hard-wired smoke detector installation. However, if one chooses to have a new circuit installed specifically for hard-wired smoke detector installation, that is acceptable.
Do smoke detectors have to be wired in series?
It is recommended that hard-wired smoke detector installation, all hard-wired smoke alarms are wired so that thewarning is sent to every area of the home. By wiring them in a series, when one smoke detector goes off, the other smoke detectors will follow regardless where the smoke is originating from. If the electricity is affected and turns off during this time, the battery backup will override.
Can I install a smoke alarm myself?
Is a smoke detector installation possible for a homeowner? Yes, but there are differences in installing a hard-wired smoke detector vs battery operated. A battery-powered smoke detector installation is simple, and anyone can install one.
You’ll need a stepladder and drill, and typically, there are four screws to place the base plate of the smoke detector on the wall. Then you’ll install the required batteries where indicated on the base, the place the cover over that.
A hard-wired smoke detector installation is more complicated, and you should be comfortable handling electricity before you attempt this project. You must make sure the power is totally off first and then following these steps:
- Using a voltage tester, check to confirm the electric power is off.
- Connect the wires as shown in the instructions that come with the smoke detector.
- The new smoke detector will have a third wire that is referred to as “interconnect” and is usually orange or red. Do not connect it if the old alarm only had two connections.
- Turn the electrical power back on and push the test button on the detector.
What are the hard-wire smoke detector installation benefits?
There is more work required for hard-wired smoke detector installation, but the benefits outweigh that concern:
A hard-wired smoke detector can be interconnected with other hard-wired smoke detectors. When one unit picks up smoke, it will activate the others throughout your home. This gives everyone in the home the same time to vacate to a safe area.
With a hard-wired smoke detector installation, they have battery backup, so should the power shut off in case of fire, the battery will keep the alarm sounding.