In 1991, I was living near Ruston, Louisiana and my home burned down. We lived in a rural area about 8 miles out of the city limits and depended on a volunteer fire department. Though they responded rapidly, by the time they got there the home was completely engulfed in flames. We lost everything we accumulated over 10 years of marriage. A month later my 1st son was born. My pregnant wife and I were alerted by working smoke alarms and we got out before we were hurt. I am a firm believer of smoke alarms and what they can do to save lives.
Many things have changed since 1991. Then a smoke alarm was placed in hallways near bedrooms and on each floor. As you can see from the list below, the standards have greatly changed over the years.
Installing smoke alarms:
The NFPA, as well as Consumers Reports, recommends that smoke alarms be tested each month, batteries changed yearly, and smoke alarms be changed at least every 10 years.
After living through that fire 26 years ago, I recommend:
Final note: Make a plan of action before it is needed. Practice it with your family. Figure out what you will do if there is ever a fire in your home before it happens. If you hear the alarm go off scream and yell to everyone to get out of the home and GET OUT OF THE HOME! After you are out call 911.
If you have any questions about your alarms, how to maintain them, where to install them, or how to test them, call us at Clear Springs Air Conditioning and Electric. We are here for you.
One of the most common electrical devices I replace in a home is the GFI. The GFI or GFCI Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter device's only reason for existence is to prevent electrical shock or worse, electrocution. The definition of electrocution is death by electrical shock.
Technically, the GFCI senses the electrical current flowing between the electrically hot wire and the ground wire. This electrical current should be equal. If the electrical current flow is not equal, even 3 to 4 milliamps difference, it will trip in less than 1 second.
For example, if you are using a hair dryer and because it somehow gets wet and some small part of the electrical current flows through your body instead of through the GFCI, then it will open the circuit and shut off current flow to the hair dryer.
You should find these devices where ever there is a chance you may come in contact with electricity and water, such as the kitchen, bathroom, unfinished basement, outdoors, and in your garage.
There are 3 main types in use in homes and businesses today. The 1st is the wall plug (see photo). The second is a device used on extension cords and is mobile and easy to use anywhere, and the third is in your breaker panel.
My final comment on these lifesaving devices is that they should be tested monthly. To test them, trip the button marked test, and then reset it with the button marked reset. If it will not trip, or it will not reset, have a qualified electrician check it out for you. These devices are often at the head of a circuit that controls many other receptacles, if they are not wired correctly into the GFCI, it and they will not be protected.
Jonathan Smith has been in the Air Conditioning and Heating industry for well over 30 years and has spent more than 27 years in the Electrical industry.