Smoke alarms help to save lives. The National Fire Prevention Association says most households in the United States have at least one smoke detector, but tragedies occur if alarms are not installed or working properly. Although some models of FireX smoke alarms are no longer produced by their original manufacturer, they and newer units from Kidde-FireX are available. In order to use these smoke alarms properly, you must know how to install and test them.
Place the smoke alarm against the wall or ceiling and use a pencil to mark the screw locations. Drill two holes with a 1/16 inch drill bit into the wall or ceiling. Mount the unit with the screws provided or use your own plastic anchors if you wish to attach the alarm to drywall or woodwork. Screw the mounting brackets into the wall or ceiling.
Place the battery into the smoke alarm and push in the Battery Activation button so that it is flat against the unit. The smoke alarm may “chirp” or “beep” temporarily.
Fit the smoke alarm into the base and twist it clockwise. It will snap into position. You can adjust the locking mechanism to keep the alarm from being tampered with.
Press the test button on the top of the alarm and hold it down for a few seconds; the LED light will blink and the unit will emit a loud beeping sound.
Choose the rooms where you want to install direct wire smoke detectors, at least one detector per floor level. For maximum coverage, install smoke detectors in every room.
Turn off the electric power source in the home’s main fuse box or circuit breaker.
Install the smoke alarm on a 4-inch single gang junction box or octagon. Fit the plate to the junction box and connect the wires; the smoke alarm must be connected to a predetermined AC circuit in the electrical system of the house. Turn the base counterclockwise to remove it from the unit. Align the octagonal plate and mounting holes, and then pull the wires through them.
Turn the electricity on and test the smoke alarm. Press the button on the top of the unit and hold it down while the LED light blinks and the siren beeps.
To use plastic anchors and screws to attach the smoke alarm to woodwork or drywall, drill two holes using a 3/16 inch (5mm) bit and then insert the anchors through the holes. The manufacturer suggests weekly testing of all smoke alarms and batteries should be replaced every six months. Some smoke alarm systems and models can be interconnected with each other. Fire safety experts recommend having battery operated units as “backups” if you have direct wire smoke alarms installed in your residence.
Direct wire alarm systems require constant flow of 120-volt, AC power; the unit will not work if the electricity is turned off or has failed. Units that have a battery backup must have a 9-volt battery connected. Never turn off the unit, even during false alarms; open a window or fan the area near the smoke detector to silence it. The manufacturer of FireX products says direct wire smoke detectors should be installed by a licensed electrician; smoke alarm wiring must follow the National Electric Code, in addition to local electric codes in your community. Replace the smoke detector every 10 years. Read the instructions and safety precautions for the systems chosen.