It’s almost an inevitability that at some point or another, your smoke detectors are going to wake you up in the middle of the night with the beep of a low battery warning. You shake the sleep from your eyes, turn on a light, and grab the step ladder to climb up there and disconnect the battery. “I’ll swap it out in the morning,” you think to yourself.
When morning rolls around, you grab a 9 volt and head back up the step ladder. As you’re changing things out, you notice a warning on the back of the smoke detector–“Manufactured 2/2006.” How long are these things supposed to last anyway? After a quick internet search, you find that you should replace the smoke detectors in your home every eight to ten years.
What Should You Do?
Once you know that your smoke detectors need to be changed, you’ll have to start the task of looking for new smoke detectors. Although laws vary from state to state, the vast majority of homes now require that smoke detectors be hardwired to your electrical panel and many codes suggest having a smoke detector in each bedroom, in the hallway outside of bedrooms, on the main level, in the basement, and so on.
If your home hasn’t been wired to accommodate the hardwiring of smoke detectors, you will probably need the help of a residential electrician. Why hardwire your smoke detectors? Well, to put it simply, it means that as long as there is power to your home and as long as you have a fresh battery in them, you set yourself up to be as prepared as possible in any situation.
If the power to your home fails, you have a battery backup in place to alert you in the event of a fire.
“Do I Need a Residential Electrician to Help If My Smoke Detectors Are Already Hardwired?”
That’s a good question and the simple answer is that it depends. If you’re replacing your old hardwired smoke detectors with new ones, you might be able to pull the old ones down, plug them into the existing wires, and be perfectly fine.
On the other hand, if you are swapping brands, the connectors will be different. That means you’ll have to turn the electricity to those smoke detectors off, unhook a live wire, a neutral wire, and a connecting wire, hook everything back up, and turn the power back on. In an ideal situation, your circuit breaker will have a circuit dedicated specifically to your smoke detectors.
The truth is that this isn’t always the case. Regardless of your situation, you should still be sure to double check that there is no electrical current with a multimeter or non-contact voltage tester.
Delta Electrical to the Rescue
If this all sounds a bit dangerous, that’s because it certainly can be. The fact of the matter is that you are probably better off calling in the help of a licensed residential electrician who is certified to do this type of work. After all, you really can’t be too safe and electricity is nothing to mess around with if you don’t know what you’re doing.
The good news is that a local electrician from Delta Electrical can help! We’re located in Jackson, TN, but if you’re in our neck of the woods and you need someone to take a look at your smoke detectors, we’re here for you. Give us a call today to get a free quote and rest assured that the work that needs done will be left in the hands of a trained professional. We look forward to hearing from you!