How Illinois Business Owners Can Maintain Fire Alarm Systems

by | Nov 19, 2015 | Industrial Supply

Smoke detectors and fire alarm systems are some of the most valuable fire safety tools on the market yet we tend to take them for granted. Like many other devices, smoke detectors require regular cleaning and maintenance to function effectively. To ensure the best smoke detection from fire alarm systems, Illinois fire safety experts offer these easy tips for keeping smoke detection devices tuned up, properly powered, and ready for action.

Clean Detectors
Airborne dust and contaminants can interfere with a smoke alarm’s ability to detect smoke, so make it a point to clean all detectors in your home or business at least twice a year. Use your vacuum’s long upholstery wand to clear away any dust or cobwebs that have settled around the detectors, and – if possible – vacuum out the smoke alarms’ interior compartments as well.

Change the Batteries
Don’t wait for that high-pitched chirp to annoy you into changing smoke detector batteries; instead, keep a standing annual date with yourself for replacing the battery in each of your smoke alarms. Just so you don’t forget this important task, choose an easy-to-remember date that has personal significance. Many suggest that you take care of smoke detector maintenance on the same day you turn your clocks back from Daylight Savings Time.

Keep Alarms Up to Date
Even with regular cleaning and battery changes, smoke detectors don’t last forever. Outdated smoke and fire alarms can randomly fail, so it’s important to stay on the safe side and replace all smoke detectors every 10 years. Don’t take any chances with your safety. Switch old devices out for new units immediately.

Try Devices
Test smoke detectors monthly by pressing their “test” buttons. Do the same for fire alarm systems. If the alarm sounds, everything’s working fine. But if that method seems a little too easy and you’d prefer an extra measure of reassurance, you can test alarms with actual smoke. All you need to do is light a candle, blow it out, then immediately hold it a few inches below the detector, allowing a trail of smoke from the just-extinguished wick to drift inside the unit and trigger its alarm.

Don’t Disable Malfunctioning Devices
If you notice that a particular smoke alarm is going off frequently even when there isn’t any smoke in the air, don’t disable it. Instead, investigate the cause of the false alarms. If the false alarms keep occurring, you could be dealing with faulty smoke alarm, in which case it should just be replaced.

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