How To Disconnect Smoke Alarms: A DIY Guide
Smoke alarms, also commonly called smoke detectors, have become a staple in commercial establishments, industrial buildings, and many households. As the name indicates, it is a device that can detect smoke, thus also indicating the occurrence of fire within the area. Today, many countries have recognized the importance of smoke alarms in buildings, going as far as requiring establishments to have them. But after having your alarm installed, you will most likely encounter problems that might urge you to remove them. So, it is helpful to know how to disconnect smoke alarm.
Before adding the smoke alarm to your cart, it is good to do some research. If you are still not convinced, look for some statistics, and read about the different types available on the market. But remember, they all have one goal: to protect you, your house, and your establishment.
Importance of Smoke Alarms
It is not an exaggeration to say that fire alarms have helped and will continue to help save lives. Here are some points reported by the U.S. National Fire Protection System that might convince you to install smoke alarms in your house or establishment. Also, be reminded to at least know the basics on how to remove a smoke alarm to check on the batteries and other functionalities:
- In 2012-2016, smoke alarms were installed in 74% of U.S. homes with over half ringing due to house fire.
- Almost three of every five deaths due to house fire came from 40% of houses without smoke alarms and 17% of houses with non-functional smoke alarms.
- Deaths due to home fire were reported at 12.3 deaths per 1,000 fires in houses with no smoke alarms as opposed to the 5.7 deaths per 1,000 fires from houses with smoke alarms.
- Forty-three percent of the smoke alarm failures were due to missing or disconnected batteries.
- Twenty-five percent of smoke alarm failures were due to dead batteries.
Hardwired Smoke Alarms and Battery-Powered Smoke Alarms
Aside from the differences in the processes, there are two types of smoke alarm systems that users consider. These are the hardwired and battery-powered smoke alarms. Here are some comparisons for you to evaluate:
- Hardwired smoke alarms must be installed by a professional, and if any work must be done on it, your main breaker panel should be switched off. Battery-powered smoke alarms can be installed in minutes, but you have to constantly change its batteries since it is not connected to your electric line. It is best to read how to disconnect smoke alarm for battery-powered detectors since it is done regularly.
- Hardwired smoke alarms are interconnected. If one detector sounds off the alarm, all others will follow. Battery-powered smoke alarms are stand-alone.
- Hardwired smoke alarms have little to no problem when it comes to power supply since it is connected to your building’s electric line. Battery-powered smoke alarms function only through the presence of a battery.
Hardwired Smoke Alarms, The Right Choice
Considering the comparisons listed, it is clear that hardwired smoke alarms won the duel, two to one. Battery-powered detectors are indeed easier to install, but in the long run, hardwired smoke alarms are much more practical. You don’t have to worry about the battery running out. But most importantly, everyone in your household will be alerted if a fire occurs. Take note, though, that you may still have to disconnect the hardwired smoke alarm.
How to Disconnect a Hardwired Smoke Alarm Safely
If the system is installed, you must know how to disconnect smoke alarm and reconnect a new one. This will not only save you time, but it will also save you the money and hassle to call over a service guy. Since battery-powered smoke alarms are easier to handle, we will be discussing how to disconnect a smoke alarm, specifically hardwired ones:
- Make sure your main electrical panel is turned off. Double-check if necessary.
- Hardwired smoke alarms are normally screwed onto the ceiling. Check if you have the appropriate screwdriver to complete the task.
- If you bought an alarm sensor of the same brand, it is more than possible that you don't have to take off the mounting plate. In the instance that they don't fit, you can check if you can use the old screws.
- Turn your alarm sensor as indicated, clockwise or counterclockwise, to pop it off the mounting plate.
- You will then observe that wires are still connected to the back of your alarm sensor.
- The cables connect to the sensor through a connector that looks like a plug.
- When buying a new alarm sensor, it is best to know first what connector your old one has to pop on a new one quickly.
- You can now pull the smoke alarm off the wires, but make sure to be careful with the cables.
- Cables are typically twisted and pushed into the ceiling. To properly install the new smoke detector, undo the twist of the wires.
- Pay attention to how the cables connect. For example, black wires stick to black wires.
- Before putting on your new smoke alarm, remember to read the manual and properly understand how it works. It might be different from your old one.
- If you replaced the mounting plate, put on the new mounting plate, then connect the new alarm to the wires.
- Ensure that the plug with the connection points is appropriately aligned to its port on the smoke alarm.
- Check that all clips or tabs on your sensor are secured and in their proper places.
- Carefully push back the wires into your ceiling.
- Turn your alarm sensor in the opposite direction to when you removed it.
- Turn on your electric panel and test your new smoke alarm system.
Reminders to Keep Your Smoke Alarm in Top Shape
Since the installation of smoke alarms is largely required in many countries, it has given users the feeling of familiarity, safety, and comfort. As the space owner, you should keep your peers safe by checking on the placement and condition of your smoke detector system. The following are some reminders for home and establishment owners:
- All spaces must be within the range of your smoke detector.
- Smoke alarms should be placed outside all bedrooms. A maximum distance of 10 feet from the bedroom door is recommended.
- The U.S. National Fire Protection Association suggested that the life span of smoke detectors do not exceed ten years. With this, you can either call for a professional or learn how to disconnect smoke alarm yourself to replace the old ones.
- A test run of your smoke alarm system should be done at least once a year.
- If you see that dust has collected inside the smoke alarm and has somewhat deterred its full ability, replace it with a new one.
Smoke alarms or smoke detectors aren’t just fancy accessories for your building. Sometimes, these little devices can put the line between life and death. When making your purchase, you must consider taking the time to examine the differences between smoke alarms and their importance to your household or establishment. You must also take note of the reminders to make sure that your alarm is working just fine. It is also good to know how to disconnect smoke alarm and reconnect new ones. Remember to choose the system that will assure you, your family, and your establishment.