There used to be a long running joke that when the smoke alarms go off, that means dinner is ready. Either that, or it was time to call for take out. I have to admit there was some truth to this, as the sound of fire alarms were a common sound in my home. I’m glad they weren’t connected to the local fire department, or I would be paying a ton of money for false alarms. Thankfully, my cooking skills have improved greatly, and the smoke alarms have been given a break from dinner announcing duty. If they go off now, I know I have something to worry about and that I should take action immediately.
Smoke alarms should be present in just about every room in your home. They should be checked for battery power on a continual basis. The last thing you want is for a fire to break out when your batteries have run dry. Most smoke alarms have a built in mechanism that will beep if the batteries are running low. If you are shopping for smoke alarms, make sure you get some that have this feature. That way, you always know when it is time to change the batteries.
You can get smoke alarms that are wired into your home security system. These will alert your monitoring service immediately if they detect smoke. The company can then call you to find out if there is a problem or if the fire company needs to respond. If you answer, and let them know you just burned dinner, the fire company will never be notified. However, if they do not get an answer, they will assume there is a fire and help will be sent immediately. This may mean the difference between a small fire and a total loss.
When you move into a new rental unit, make sure there are smoke alarms in place and you know how to check them. Your landlord should have these already installed, and they may also have fire extinguishers in the unit as well. If you do not find smoke alarms in your new home, make sure you ask the landlord to install them. In most state, they are required to do so by law. If there are not enough, you may want to install a few extras, but they won’t be too much. You can never spend too much on piece of mind anyway.