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Fire Safety Laws-Smoke Alarms

By HopeCharlotte |

From 1st August 1997, the law required that all buildings including homes be fitted with smoke alarms that comply with standards. Which includes a 9v powered detector for homes constructed before the mentioned date? Secondly, those constructed after that date be fitted with 240v main detectors with backup batteries. It is against the law not to have installed smoke alarms in your home

Why smoke alarms must be installed

In the United States ssmoke alarm installation became a mandatory requirement for newly erected residential buildings from the 1st of July 1997. In October 2009 all buildings had to conform to the requirement of main detectors before the transfer of ownership, hire and rental purposes.

Yearly about 2000 people dies due to residential fires. Most of them were reported to have died from inhaling smoke and other gases and other toxic gases. Few people succumbed to the burns though. Most fatal fires occurred while people were asleep and had little time to escape. Smoke alarms work 24/7 and when smoke is detected the trigger alarms which tend to give room for escape. Almost 2/3 of fire deaths occurred in home without alarms or alarms that were not functional. Properly installed and well maintained alarms may seem expensive but it’s a sure way to save lives and property.

About the Smoke Alarms for Install

How many smoke alarms should be installed in your home? Smoke detectors have to be installed close to the center of the room or 30cm from walls. If they have no choice but to be mounted on walls, a distance of 30-50 cm from the ceiling has to be observed. All these requirements are purposely to keep the detector away from “Dead Air Spaces.” Such spaces are common at comer junctions of walls and ceilings. Not forgetting the apex cathedrals of ceilings.

Each bedroom that has its occupants sleep with doors closed has to be fitted with a detector. The rest of the house including stair and hallways has to be fitted with detectors as well. Install detectors on each level of story buildings and the paths that are likely to be used in the event of an evacuation.

Smoke alarms powered with 240v have to be installed by only skilled electricians and in accordance with manufacturer recommendations. Such detectors have an LED indicator that lights up green after a successful connection. If it doesn’t illuminate check if the wiring system has a problem or check and repair the detector. If you find difficulties during installation you can seek assistance from the local council.

All newly installed smoke detector alarms must:

  • Be installed at least within a 3 meters distance of every bedroom door with occupants.
  • Be installed on each and every level of multi-story buildings or homes.
  • Conform to international standards.
  • Have long-life batteries or be hardwired and photoelectric.
  • Be installed according to the manufacturers’ instructions

The laws governing smoke detector installation and maintenance have to be followed accordingly to ensure the safety of homes, apartments and their occupants as well.

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