Boulder City Magazine is a monthly publication full of information about Boulder City and Southern Nevada. Boulder City Magazine features the Boulder City Home Guide, a real estate guide to Boulder City and Southern Nevada.

Home Care
by Scott Sauer
Advanced Structural Inspections

Smoke Alarms
Smoke alarms are an important safety feature in our homes. The current code requires them to be located in each sleeping room, outside each separate sleeping area and on each additional story of the dwelling, including basements. Smoke alarms are now required to be interconnected, so that if one alarm is activated it will then activate all the alarms in the residence. Older homes do not comply with these requirements but should be upgraded.

Older smoke alarms may actually be defective. It is estimated that as many as 35% of smoke alarms 10 years of age or older may have bad sensors. For this reason, smoke alarms should be replaced at least every 10 years. A simple test using the test button on the unit does not test the sensor. The test button simply tests the horn and the battery in the unit. So do not assume if the test button works the unit will function correctly in an emergency situation.

Be sure your family knows the escape routes out of the home in case of a fire and that you have a plan in place. You should practice the plan to insure that the children can execute it accurately and efficiently. You should perform a test of the smoke alarms in the early morning to insure that all family members will awaken. You may find that the sound of the alarm may not be sufficient to awaken all family members. You will then need to assign someone to be responsible to insure that person is awakened.

Although homes that were built before the code requirements are grandfathered in, you should not use this as an excuse not to comply with the current code. The fact is that smoke detectors that are properly located throughout the home do save lives. Protect you and your family by insuring that you have smoke detectors located where they are required by current standards. It’s an inexpensive fix that can potentially save lives.

For more information, contact Scott at

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