The safety of your home and family is of the utmost importance, of course. Many people are eager to invest in security systems, firearms, and their proper storage. All of this is fine. But too often, we see to the more exciting aspects of home safety and forget the one most important safety feature of our homes, the fire alarms.
In 2014 there were 1,298,000 domestic fires, 15,775 injuries from fires, 3,275 deaths, and $11.6 billion in damage according to the U.S. Fire Administration. It’s difficult to legally enforce fire alarm maintenance in homes. But businesses are legally required to be inspected no less than twice each year. So it stands to reason that this would be a good frequency to apply in the regular inspection of your fire alarms at home.
Specialized 9-volt batteries for an ordinary smoke alarm last up to ten years, according to battery manufacturers. An ordinary 9-volt battery will power an unused fire alarm between five and eight years. This means, keeping your fire alarm powered up is very inexpensive.
There are, however, other reasons to inspect your fire alarm at least twice annually. Fire alarms can suffer from electrical shorts, and while rare, the LED lights which indicate their functionality can also malfunction. So, checking your alarms regularly is a good idea. In addition, it is wise to check your fire alarm before and after a vacation.
Finally, checking your fire alarm is wonderfully easy. It only requires you to press the button on the exterior of the casing. If it makes an ear piercing noise, it works.
Larger fire alarms for institutions and businesses must be inspected twice a year, as stated. But, for large capacity structures, it is a good idea to perform a thorough check of your fire alarm system once a month. Better safe than sorry!