A Quick Homeowner's Guide to Understanding Your Smoke Alarms


A Quick Homeowner's Guide to Understanding Your Smoke Alarms

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Congratulations on the purchase of your new home! Because we care about your family’s safety, we have installed state of the art BRK/First Alert brand smoke alarms. BRK products are made by the same company that invented the smoke alarm in 1964. The smoke alarms in your new home have been installed as required by local and national building codes. An owner’s manual was included with every home. Be sure to read its content. If you did not receive a manual you can request a replacement copy or get technical assistance with your alarms by calling BRK at 1-800-323-9005. To contact us by mail please send your requests to BRK Brands, Inc., 3901 Liberty Street Road, Aurora, IL 60504, Attn: "Consumer Affairs" or visit our websites at  www.brkelectronics.com or www.firstalert.com.

 10year warranty image

All BRK smoke alarms are warranted for 10 years from the date of first installation. See owner’s manual for details.


Warning - Never ignore any alarm! If the unit alarms and you are not absolutely certain of the source of the smoke, get everyone out of the dwelling immediately. Stay calm and follow your family escape plan. Call the fire department from outside your residence.



Interconnected System: Your smoke alarms are interconnected, meaning they communicate with each other, forming an integrated system of protection for your home. If one smoke alarm detects smoke, all interconnected alarms will sound. For example, if the smoke alarm in the basement triggers an alarm, the smoke alarm in your bedroom will also sound. homeowners guide houseThis integrated system can warn you of a potential fire throughout your home. Interconnected smoke alarms will also tell you which one sounded the initial alarm. The green LED signifies your alarm has power. The red LED will flash about once every minute signifying you have battery backup power. If the alarm sounds, the red LED on the unit that initiated the alarm will flash rapidly. The red LED on all other interconnected alarms will remain off. After the alarm, the unit will Latch, or remember which unit initiated the alarm. The green LED will be on for 2 seconds and off for 2 seconds. You can reset the Latching feature by pressing the test/silence button.


Battery Backup: Your smoke alarm has a standard 9-volt battery back-up that keeps your smoke alarm system working in case you lose power. For the battery back-up to work, however, the battery must be “fresh” and installed properly. To replace the battery, just open the drawer on the side of the alarm. You do not need to remove the alarm from the ceiling. Remember, the battery drawer will not close unless a battery is inserted.


Test/Silence Button: This is an easy way to make sure your smoke alarm is functioning properly. Just push and hold the test/silence button until the alarm sounds. It is important to test your smoke alarms every week to make sure they are working properly. The test button is the only recommended way to test them. If any smoke alarm does not alarm during testing, make sure it is receiving power and test it again. If it still does not alarm, replace it immediately. Alarm frontDuring testing, you will hear a loud, repeating horn pattern: 3 beeps, pause, 3 beeps, pause. When testing a series of interconnected units you must test each unit individually. Make sure all units alarm when each one is tested. This button is also used to silence unwanted or nuisance alarms and reset the Latching feature. The alarm will be silenced for about 10 minutes. The alarm can be re-tested while in silence mode by pushing the test/silence button.


Caution: Never test your alarm by forcing cigarette or other forms of smoke into your alarm. If you choose to use an aerosol smoke product be sure to use one that is listed by Underwriters Laboratories Inc. Safety Standards and use it only as directed. Use of non-UL listed products or improper use of UL listed products may affect the smoke alarm’s sensitivity and shorten the expected life of the alarm.


How to maintain your BRK Smoke Alarm

This unit has been designed to be as maintenance-free as possible, but there are a few simple things you must do to keep it working properly: Test it at least once a week (see above). Gently vacuum off any dust on the cover at least once a month using your vacuum’s soft brush attachment. Test the unit after vacuuming the cover. Dust and insects can cause nuisance or false alarming of the unit. Never use water, cleaners or solvents since they may damage the unit. When the battery back-up becomes weak, the smoke alarm will “chirp” about once a minute (the low battery warning). This warning should last 7 days, but you should replace the battery immediately to continue your protection. Never paint over your smoke alarm. Smoke alarms have a limited life. The unit should be replaced immediately if it is not operating properly. You should always replace a smoke alarm after 10 years from date of installation. You should record the date of installation on the back of your smoke alarm.


Is Your Whole Home Protected?

Tips for Increased Protection


Smoke Alarm: Install a smoke alarm on every level of your home and one in every bedroom. Replace your alarms at least every ten years.


Carbon Monoxide Alarm: Install a carbon monoxide alarm on every level of your home.


Fire Extinguisher: Keep at least one fire extinguisher on each level of your home. Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen for emergencies.


Carbon Monoxide CO Sources

According to the Journal of National Medical Association, Carbon Monoxide (CO) is the #1 cause of accidental poisoning deaths in America. It can injure or kill in as little as 15 minutes, and because it’s invisible and odorless, you might not know it’s there until it's too late! Common sources of carbon monoxide include a furnace, gas water heater, gas oven or range, gas dryer, kerosene space heater, wood burning stove or fireplace. Even a new home can have a CO problem, which is why carbon monoxide alarms are such an important addition to your home safety plan.



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