Most homes will have smoke detectors, but does yours work?

Did you know they can even expire? 

Smoke detectors have a lifespan of around 10 years. So, check yours if your house is older then this or you are unsure how old your detectors are. The manufacturing date is printed on the back of your detector. 

Smoke detectors have saved millions of homes, and even more lives. But the cases of detectors being out of order or faulty, are way too many. Smoke detectors are installed in over 50% of houses that have fatal fires, but they only work is 37% of those fires.

So checking them monthly, and not just with that convenient button, might prove essential!

What to do

Press that button

First, use the test button. The test button will let you know if the battery is working, and detectors being out of battery account for most failures. All detectors have a test button that will give of sound when pushed to ensure you that the battery is working. If there is a very low or no sound, this is a sign that the battery is low, and you need to change them immediately.

If there still is no sound after changing the batter, the detector is broken and need to be replaced with a new one. Most detectors will also have a constant or blinking light to let you know the detector is getting power. 

Expect to change your batteries about two times a year. Make it a habit of doing this every spring and fall. 

Smoke it out

Most advice will tell you just to use the test button, but all that tells you is that the sound and battery is working, not the actual device.But by also using real smoke when testing, you will be sure all parts of your detector work. Light two or three matches and hold them about 2 feet/half a meter away from the smoke detector. The smoke from the matches should quickly set of your alarm. If there is no sound, you need you need to replace your detector immediately.

Some manufactures advise against using open flame near the detector, in those cases you can use a UL-rated can of smoke.These can bought for around $10-15 on Amazon, Leroy Merlin and most other home improvement stores. 

Dust it

When checking the detector each month, also make sure you give it a quick clean. Vacuum or brush away any dust or cobwebs. Also wipe down with a damp cloth to make sure any debris that may cause it to malfunction, is removed. Don’t use any cleaning products directly on the detector, as this could contaminate the sensors.

When checking you smoke detectors, ask a friend for help. While your testing them, ask them to stand as far away from the detector as you might find yourself during an incident. This lets you know if you should consider adding more.

You should have at least one smoke detector on every level of your home and in every bedroom. For extra coverage add detectors in hallways, the top and bottom of the staircase, and kitchen. 

Don’t forget often neglected places like basements, attics, utility rooms and garages 

Also, be safe when using a ladder, and always ask a friend for help!

The DO’S and DON’TS when listing your rental property

Whether you are renting out short or long-term,  there are some all around do’s and don’ts you should follow!

Follow these proven strategies when listing your property, and it will positively increase the amount views you’re getting-

DO! take a variety of pictures  – listing with nice pictures generally get more views

DONT! post undesirable pictures – Don’t post photos of messy rooms and clutter, and let in that light. Dark photos feel gloomy and sad. 

DO! have a creative title

DONT! use ALL CAPS in the description – You may think its an effective way to demand attention, but it is hard the eyes and there are far better ways to do it.

DO! remember your target market – Are you renting to elderly holiday goers, or families? Is this a short-term or long-term rental?

DONT! Leave your add up after your property is rented – if you’ve found your tenants, take it offline.

DO! Set a fair rental price – Research comparable properties, and price your rental competitively. 

DONT! Discriminate against tenants – There are laws against discrimination and these must be followed.

DO! Look at other rental ads – What are others offering? Free WIFI, low deposit, shorter contracts?

DONT! exaggerate or misrepresent your property – Make sure all information you give is accurate and up-to-date. 

DO! use bullet points – Bulleted lists are much easier to read than a large paragraph of text. 

DONT! Be slow when replying to inquiries – Reply promptly! Otherwise, tenants may find another rental as they are probably looking at more then one option.

DO! review listing before posting – Make sure all your information is correct, especially your contact information!

DONT! use excessive amount of abbreviations – Everybody may not understand your abbreviations, so keep it simple. 

Follow these proven strategies and increase attention to your online listing!

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