A few nights ago a family I am familiar with lost their home to a fast burning attic fire. They were able to escape with their lives because smoke detectors woke them up. Without smoke detectors, it is very possible that one or more of them might have died.
Smoke detectors work well and may very well save your life and home. You can buy battery operated smoke detectors for between 10-30 dollars.
Smoke detectors come in several types, battery operated, hard wired to your electric system or a combination of both. I recommend that you either have battery operated or hard wired with battery backup. Some new homes come with smoke detectors that are dependent on your electrical system functioning. If you have this type, buy battery-operated smoke detectors to back them up.
A smoke detector should be installed in each bedroom and one should be centrally located in the corridor or area outside the bedroom. Smoke detectors should be installed at a high point on the ceiling at least 18 inches from the wall. Buy only UL of FM approved detectors.
All smoke alarms should be tested at least once a month to make sure they operate properly. If a smoke alarm is battery operated, replace the batteries at least once a year to make sure the alarm will work when it is needed. It’s a good practice to make replacement of batteries a seasonal routine, such as when resetting clocks in the fall or spring. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for testing smoke alarms and replacing the batteries.
If your battery-powered smoke alarm begins to emit a low-power warning, usually a chirping sound, replace the battery immediately with a fresh one. This will ensure that your smoke alarm will continue to provide protection.
If you have children or adults that are very heavy sleepers, be sure and test the smoke detectors to make sure that the alarm is loud enough to wake them. If you look on the internet, you will find smoke detectors for the hard of hearing. They cost a little more but may be worth it.