Custom Alarm Services, Inc.

Security Tips

Smoke Detectors | Security



Smoke detectors are real life savers

In recent years, three fifths of America's home-fire fatalities have occurred in homes without smoke detectors. And half of all fatal home fires happen at night. Inexpensive household smoke detectors can mean the difference between life and death. They sound an early warning in the event of fire, waking people before they are overcome by smoke and giving them time to escape. After prevention, smoke detectors are your best line defense against fire and can cut your risk of dying in home fire nearly in half. But a smoke detector can't save your life if it isn't working.

Battery assault

Most household smoke detectors are battery powered and studies show that dead, disconnected, or missing batteries are the principal cause of non-working detectors

Monthly check-up

Test your smoke detectors' batteries, following the manufacturer's instructions, once a month and replace any battery too weak to sound the alarm. Most detectors "chirp" to alert you when their battery power is low. When you hear the warning, replace the batteries; don't just disconnect the unit. Replace smoke detector batteries routinely on the same day each year. NFPA suggests the last Sunday in October--the day you roll the clocks back from Daylight Saving to Standard Time each fall. Change your clocks; change your batteries. Too often people disable smoke detectors by removing their batteries for other uses. Never "borrow" batteries from a smoke detector.

False alarms

Smoke detectors are not recommended for use in kitchens, bathrooms, or garages--where cooking fumes, steam, or exhaust can set off the alarm when when there is no fire. Yet many people simply disconnect poorly placed smoke detectors in an effort to prevent these nuisance alarms. If your home is plagued by false alarms, don't disable your detector--relocate it away from the kitchen or bathroom, or install an exhaust fan. Cleaning your detector regularly, according to manufacturer's instructions, may also help. If nuisance alarms persist, replace the detector.

Nothing lasts forever

Smoke detectors have a life expectancy of about 10 years. Replace any detector that is more than 10 years old.

Which smoke detector should I buy?

Buy only smoke detectors that carry the label of an independent testing laboratory. Several types of detectors are available. Some run on batteries, others on household current. Some detect smoke using an "ionization" sensor, others use a "photoelectric" detection system. All approved smoke detectors, regardless of type, will offer adequate protection provided they are installed and maintained properly.

How many smoke detectors do I need?

Install a smoke detector outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. On floors without bedrooms, detectors should be installed in or near living areas, such as dens, living rooms, or family rooms. Be sure everyone sleeping in your home can hear your smoke detectors' alarms. If any residents have hearing impairments or sleep with bedroom doors closed, install additional detectors inside sleeping areas as well. There are special smoke detectors for people with hearing impairments; these flash a light in addition to sounding an audible alarm.

How do I install smoke detectors?

Most battery-powered smoke detectors can be installed using only a drill and a screwdriver, by following the manufacturer's instructions. Plug-in detectors must have restraining devices so they cannot be unplugged by accident. Detectors can also be hard-wired into a building's electrical system. Hard-wired detectors should be installed by a qualified electrician.

Where do I install my smoke detectors?

Mount detectors high on a wall or on the ceiling. Wall- mounted units should be installed so that the top of the detector is 4 to 12 inches (10 to 30 centimeters) from the ceiling. A ceiling-mounted detector should be attached at least 4 inches(10 centimeters) from the nearest wall. In a room with a pitched ceiling, mount the detector at or near the ceiling's highest point. In stairways with no doors at the top or bottom, position smoke detectors anywhere in the path of smoke moving up the stairs. But always position smoke detectors at the bottom of closed stairways, such as those leading from the basement, because dead air trapped near the door at the top of a stairway could prevent smoke from reaching a detector located at the top. Don't install a smoke detector too near a window, door, or forced-air register where drafts could interfere with the detector's operation. For extra protection, NFPA suggests installing detectors in dining rooms, furnace rooms, utility rooms, and hallways.


Have separate key rings or pull apart key rings for your house and car keys. Never leave your house keys with a parking lot attendant.

I don't need an alarm system, I have my windows screwed shut and keyed dead bolts on my doors. Sound familiar ? What happens in the event of an emergency ? Will you and your family be able to make a timely escape from bolted doors & windows ?

The convenience of a washer and dryer on a first or second floor level can have disastrous results. What happens if they overflow or spring a leak? What happens if they catch fire? Avoid an unplanned "bubble bath" or a smoke filled bedroom. Ask us about our smoke detectors and water monitors.

Want to know when the kids get home ? We sell security alarms that can activate your pager when your security system is turned off, turned on, or when it is in alarm.

Our service will help you get control of your life.


Safeguard your valuables, data, firearms or important papers with one of our attractive and secure Liberty Safes.

Computer Data

Do you know how long it would take to re-construct your hard drive? Do you do regular backups of your data? Do you take it off premise every day. What would you do in the event of a fire or theft of your data? Ask about our data safes and how you can feel safe and secure about your valuable information.

Holiday Light

  • NEVER use candles as decorations.
  • Keep tree away from heat.
  • Never use a cut tree in a place of public assembly (apartment or hotel lobbies, restaurants, etc.).
  • Water a cut tree daily.
  • Use a "non-tip" style tree stand.
  • Use only fire retardant decorations.
  • Never leave a lit tree unattended.
  • Dispose of your tree properly, soon after the holiday before needles dry out.
  • Artificial trees should have a fire retardant label.
  • Unplug all lighting before retiring for the evening or leaving the house.
  • Purchase lights and electric decorations which are listed by an approved testing agency such as Underwriters Laboratory (UL ).
  • Check all lighting for frayed wires, broken plugs, sockets, etc.
  • Never overload outlets. Use no more than three strands of lights on a single extension cord.
  • Never use candles on trees, near live or other flammable decorations.
  • Never hang lights on a metallic tree.
  • Always use appropriate weatherproof lights outdoors.

Stephen D. Coan, State Fire Marshall
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Department of Public Safety
1010 Commonwealth Ave. Boston, MA 02215


Do you know how much you are actually losing to customer and employee theft? The answer may surprise you. Many times our systems end up paying for themselves in a very short period of time.

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For more information about our products and services, please contact us:

Custom Alarm Service, Inc.
P.O. Box 58 - 23 Providence St.
Mendon, MA 01756

Fax: 508-478-2779
Phone: Toll Free: 1-800-698-8800
Mendon: 508-473-1028
Framingham: 508-879-1028
Natick: 508-651-1028
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