Ask The Expert: Are Smoke Detectors Really Needed?

The blazes on Long Island last week reinforced the importance of our all being diligent in dealing with fire—and that goes for inside the home as well. If you’ve been debating the importance of smoke detectors in your home and have questions about their worthiness, Bill Shea of William J. Shea Electric is here to share his expert insights into their value—and the value of having them properly installed.

The Question: Are smoke detectors really needed in my home?

The Answer from Bill Shea of William J. Shea Electric: ABSOLUTELY!!! Smoke detectors, in combination with carbon monoxide detectors, save thousands of lives annually. Most governments require that a smoke detector be installed in every bedroom and outside the hallways of bedroom areas. They should be interconnected to sound an alarm that allows occupants in each room the notice of a fire somewhere throughout the home and to give them time to get out of the house. I usually install an interconnected smoke alarm with battery back-up in each bedroom, in the hallway outside the bedroom areas, and on each floor and basement.

In addition to these units, I also install an interconnected carbon monoxide detector on each floor connected to the smoke detectors to complete this important safety system. These unit can determine a fire or carbon monoxide problem and actually say which it is. These units should be replaced every 5 years as per manufacturers suggestion and the back up batteries every 6 months when you change your clocks forward and back twice a year. Besides peace of mind, some insurance companies offer you a discount on your homeowners insurance policy by having these installed in your home. Check with them for this discount.

Have more questions about smoke detectors for your home? You can contact Bill Shea and William J. Shea Electric at 631-668-1600 or 631-277-6346, or visit online at You can also visit & “Like” them on Facebook.

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