Smoke Detector Testing and Placement
Perform seasonal smoke detector testing in your home.
Smoke detector testing and placement is very important. Current National Fire Protection Association code (all building, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC contracts fall under the NFPA guidance) requires 120volt battery back up smoke detectors to be installed in each bedroom, within 10 feet of the bedrooms, and on each habitable floor excluding crawl spaces and attics (unfinished basements count as a habitable floor), and in the garage. A carbon monoxide / smoke detector combo unit must be installed in the man living space. Now placement of the smoke detectors is very important in these rooms. The smoke detectors should not be installed within 20 feet of a combustible source such as a fireplace, at least 4 inches away from a wall and 6 inches below a ceiling, or closer than 3 feet on the horizontal from any peaked ceiling as these are known as dead air spaces. Smoke detectors should also not be installed near HVAC vents or ceiling fans as these can keep the smoke away from the smoke detector.
Smoke detector testing is simple and easy to do. On each smoke detector is a test button, simply push this button until the unit sounds. If your smoke detectors are interconnected to each other, all of the units should sound. If the smoke detector does not sound it may be time to replace the battery. If after replacing the battery and the smoke detector still does not sound, contact your licensed electrician, such as McCauley Electrical Service, to see if you have a possible electrical problem or if the smoke detector needs to be replaced. Also if your smoke detector is over 10 years old, it is time to replace the unit.
If you live in the state of Georgia, and specifically in the City of Atlanta or DeKalb County, any permit that is pulled for repair or alteration to your home (plumbing, hvac, building or electrical), aside from a roofing permit, will require that 120volt smoke detectors with battery backup to be installed in your home as described above. So before you start any project, please check with your local city electrical inspectors office to verify if they will require smoke detectors to be installed to help avoid any surprise extra$. And smoke detectors that are battery only or part of your home alarm system do not count as the 120v smoke detectors with battery backup required by code. In two simple moves you can disable your alarm and alarm smoke detectors. It takes many more steps to disable all the 120v smoke detectors in a typical home today.
If you have any questions about smoke detectors, or other electrical items, please feel free to contact Patrick McCauley of McCauley Electrical Service, Inc. at any time. 678-362-2881 or Patrick@mccelec.com