How Your Home Works: Electrical and Smoke Detection

There are many features in your new home that you’ll need to make sure to become familiar with.  From your air conditioning to your smoke detectors there is a lot to learn!  Please take a look at the interior and exterior product information we have gathered to assist you in understanding how you’re new home features work. By learning how these products operate, you will be able to keep them working at their optimum efficiency for the maximum comfort in your new home.

Electrical & Smoke Detection


Some receptacles are controlled by a switch and are typically installed “upside-down” for quick reference. One of the outlets in the receptacle will be controlled by the switch and the other should have power all the time.

Per building code requirements GFCI protected receptacles “Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters” are installed adjacent to water sources, in kitchens, in bathrooms, in laundry rooms, on the exterior of the home and in the garage. These receptacles are designed to trip when a short or power surge is detected. This will prevent dangerous electrical shock. When this occurs, the GFCI outlets will need to be reset according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Do not plug a freezer or refrigerator into a GFCI receptacle, the constant surges created by these appliances will short out the GFCI and everything in the freezer or refrigerator will be lost. (To see a recent post on GFCI’s, click here.)

Arc Fault receptacles are installed in bedrooms. These outlets will trip if there is an electrical cord breakage or appliance failure causing an arc fault short in the wire or appliance.

All light bulbs are maximum wattage. When replacing bulbs be sure to use bulbs of the same or lower wattage.

Please note that lighting will sometimes dim when a major appliance or HVAC system is turned on. This is normal and will not cause any damage to your electrical system.

Smoke Detectors

Smoke detectors are “hard” wired and have battery back-up. Change batteries every six months. Be sure to change the batteries in ALL smoke detectors at the same time. They will “chirp” when the batteries are low.

We hope this helps you understand more about how the electrical and smoke detection in your home works!

3 thoughts on “How Your Home Works: Electrical and Smoke Detection

  1. I changed the smoke detector batteries, yes ALL of them and certain ones still go off in the middle of the night and won’t shut off even if battery is pulled. Do they need maintenance after 10 years?

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