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Smoke Detectors - A Hot Topic!

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Smoke Detectors - A Hot Topic!

Nestor Herrera

Born and raised in Orange County, Nestor's passion for creating a strong community in Irvine is obvious.

Born and raised in Orange County, Nestor's passion for creating a strong community in Irvine is obvious.

Oct 9 4 minutes read

Are you concerned with your home’s smoke detectors? If not, you really should be. Within the last few years, California laws regarding smoke detectors have changed… And not everyone has noticed! It is estimated that over 7 million Californians are still non-compliant with California regulations. That’s far too large a number!

According to the National Fire Protection Association, the leading cause of non-fatal home fires is cooking equipment. Also, the leading cause of home deaths by fire were smoking materials. Over one quarter of home fires originate in the bedroom! Home fires cause $7 billion in damage per year in the USA, and 2500 deaths. A proper set of smoke detectors isn't a luxury, it’s a necessity! We always recommend the “Nest Protect”. It’s compliant with California regulations, its state of the art, and it will even notify your phone if it’s batteries are low. A good alarm isn’t cheap, but it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than a fire! 

Other safety equipment may be in need of a refresh as well. 10 years ago, a mandate went into effect that required 10 year carbon monoxide alarms to be installed. These alarms are about to run out of battery. California residents need to at least check their carbon monoxide alarm’s manufacture dates. Optimally, all California residents should be replacing them with more modern units.

Here are some of the new smoke detector requirements:

  • Display the date of manufacture on the device

  • Provide a place on the device where the date of installation can be written

  • Incorporate an end-of-life feature with notice that the device needs replacing

  • If battery operated, contain a non-replaceable, non-removable battery capable of powering the smoke alarm for at least 10 years.

  • One smoke alarm is required on every floor of the home

  • One smoke alarm is required inside and outside of every sleeping room


Installing your new smoke detector:

Do not underestimate the importance of buying the right smoke detectors, installing them correctly, and placing them in the best spots!

  • Have at least one alarm per floor in a house, and the more the better

  • Make sure you follow the fitting instructions properly

  • Fit the device onto the ceiling and at least a foot away from walls and lights

  • Be aware that there are two types of detectors – ionization and optical; homes with both have better protection. Ionization alarms are sensitive to the smoke caused by fast-burning fires. They are best fitted near to your kitchen. Optical alarms are good at detecting smoldering, slow-burning fires.


Maintaining your smoke alarm:

 Smoke detector maintenance is often overlooked. Follow these tips to ensure your alarms stay in good working order.

  • Test your alarms once a month, using the test button

  • Change the whole unit at least every 10 years

  • Vacuum dust from the detector every 6 months, to ensure that it does not clog

  • Check for manufacture dates. If the alarm does have one, replace it


Today’s blog is important. It’s not just a quick read; It should be be a wake up call if you haven't updated your home’s smoke detectors! Remember, It’s not just for you… It’s for your friends and family as well. Share these tips with your loved ones. And, hopefully, we’ve gotten you ‘fired up’ about your home’s safety! 



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