Smoke Detectors: 5 Things To Know

If you’ve got smoke detectors in your home, give yourself a pat on the back. You’ve taken a giant leap toward keeping your loved ones safe!

But, let’s face it. Life gets busy, and we often don’t give smoke detectors much thought.

Given their important role in our lives, here are five things you should know about smoke detectors.

Location, location, location. Are you sure your smoke alarms are in the right places? The U.S. Fire Administration recommends installing smoke detectors in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of your home, including the basement.

Make testing a habit. Here’s a no-brainer: a good detector is one that works! Test your smoke alarms at least once a month. Consider timing it with something you do regularly, like paying your utility bill.

Every 10 years, replace your detectors. Not everything lasts forever, including smoke detectors. If your detectors are 10 years old or even older, replace them with new ones.

Know the laws – and follow them. Local and state laws may vary regarding the type and location of smoke alarms to install in homes, rental properties and businesses. Even if you’ve already got smoke detectors, make sure you’re following the letter of the law by looking online or contacting your local fire department for details.

Get smart (and get a discount). “Smart” smoke detectors connected via Wi-Fi can conveniently alert your smartphone when the alarm goes off or when batteries are low. American Family Insurance offers a 5 percent Proactive Home Protection discount on certain homeowners, renters and condo policies if you use smart smoke detectors or other smart home protection devices. Just ask your agent about it!

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