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Installing Hardwired Smoke Detectors: A Guide for Homeowners

Smoke Detector
A smoke alarm is often your first warning that you have a fire in your home. Over the years, smoke detection methods have changed. In Alabama, as in many other states, newly built homes are required to have hardwired smoke alarms installed by a licensed electrician.
Smoke detectors that work properly can protect your family and possessions from the effects of unexpected fires and poisonous smoke. Read on to learn more about installing hardwired smoke detectors in your home.

Types of Smoke Detectors

Some homes, especially older ones, use battery-powered smoke detectors. While these smoke alarms are convenient and inexpensive, a better alternative is to install hardwired smoke detectors.
Instead of depending on batteries entirely, hardwired smoke detectors are connected to your home's electrical wiring instead.  
Unlike battery-powered smoke alarms, hardwired smoke detectors are interconnected so that if a detector in one room is triggered, all the alarms in the various rooms in your house go off too, therefore alerting everyone in the house.
The two types of hardwired smoke detectors are two-wire and four-wire detectors.
Two-Wire Smoke Detectors
In a two-wire smoke detector, one wire connects to the sensor and the other to your home's alarm system.
The electrical panel in a basic home alarm system can only support a limited number of smoke detectors. As such, two-wire smoke alarms are best suited to smaller homes.
Four-Wire Smoke Detectors
A four-wire smoke detector consists of two wires that connect to the sensor while the other two connect to the alarm. These types of detectors work well with larger, more robust home security control systems that can support as many smoke detectors as you need.

Placement of Smoke Detectors

Proper placement and installation of smoke alarms makes all the difference in case of a fire. Each bedroom should have a properly functioning smoke alarm. Additionally, you should install smoke detectors in the living area, along corridors and stairways, and in the basement.
To prevent false alarms, smoke detectors in the kitchen should be installed away from cookers. Lastly, mount your smoke alarms high up on the ceiling or walls to ensure that these devices detect rising smoke.
A reputable electrician who understands National Fire Protection Codes can help you with the proper installation and placement of hardwired smoke alarms in your house.

Maintenance of Smoke Detectors

Installing smoke alarms is not enough. To ensure that you are ready for any eventuality, be sure to test your smoke alarms at least once every year.
Use the test button to check that your smoke detector is working properly. If the alarm responds with a loud noise, the detectors are working properly.
Hardwired smoke alarms come with a 10-year irreplaceable backup battery to power the detectors in case of a power outage. Be sure to replace the entire smoke alarm every 10 years. You may need to replace it sooner if the detector begins to produce a chirping sound.
Dust, debris, mold, and spider webs can block the sensors inside a smoke detector. To ensure optimal functioning, wipe down the outside of the detectors regularly. 
Many homeowners do not think about smoke detectors until they experience a scare or an actual fire incident. Even if you have smoke alarms, they could be outdated if you have not tested them in a while. Absent, non-functioning, or sub-standard smoke alarms can put you and your home in danger in case of a fire. Hardwired alarms offer a reliable smoke detention solution. 
If you want to install hardwired smoke alarms in your house, get in touch with the experts at Supreme Electric today for a free estimate.