Cautions about hardwired smoke alarms

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:46

    WARWICK-The following comes from Daniel Kelly, Village of Warwick Code Enforcement officer: On a recent inspection, I asked the homeowner to test the smoke alarms. The smoke alarms were the interconnected type, hardwired into the homes electrical system. This type of alarm has a battery built into each unit. This home's smoke alarms did not work. The alarm did not trigger the alarms throughout the house and the backup battery was dead. Recent findings from the National Fire Protection Agency revealed that 70 percent of all home fire fatalities occur in homes where there are no smoke alarms or no working alarms. The findings also revealed that nearly one quarter of the smoke alarms in reported fires do not work. The National Fire Protection Agency urges consumers to test their smoke alarms once a month according to the manufacturers' instructions, and to replace smoke alarms more than 10 years old. Homeowners must be aware that the smoke alarms hardwired into the homes electrical system have a battery inside, and this battery must be replaced according to the manufacturers' instructions. If the installer failed to leave the instructions in the home, the homeowner should find the manufacturers name and model number on the unit and contact the company by phone or on the Internet and obtain the instructions for maintaining and replacing the alarms. One last note, New York State Law now requires a carbon monoxide alarm in all newly constructed dwellings and dwellings offered for sale. At least one carbon monoxide alarm shall be provided and installed in the immediate vicinity of bedrooms, on the lowest floor level of the dwelling unit containing bedrooms. The alarm shall be installed in accordance with the manufacturers' instructions.