Did you know that most fatal home fires occur at night when people are asleep? A person who is asleep or disoriented by toxic gases may not realize there is a fire, so smoke detectors can save your life.
A good detector or alarm should be loud, have batteries that are easily replaced, a malfunction signal, easy maintenance and cleaning, and a UL (Underwriter’s Laboratory), FM (Factory Mutual) or equivalent testing label.
Types of Smoke Detectors
There are two types of smoke alarms available: photoelectric and ionization. When smoke enters a photoelectric alarm, light from a pulsating light source is reflected off the smoke particles and into a light sensor, which triggers the alarm. When smoke enters an ionization alarm, ionized air molecules attach to the smoke particles and reduce the ionizing current, triggering the alarm.
Photoelectric alarms generally respond faster to smoldering smoke conditions, while ionization alarms respond faster to flaming fire conditions. Either way, both types provide adequate protection.
There is Safety in Numbers
The Utah Safety Council recommends the installation of at least one smoke detector outside every bedroom and on every level of your home. Others recommend:
• A detector on each level of the house as an absolute minimum.
• A smoke detector in each bedroom, in the hallway closest to each sleeping area and in heavily-occupied areas like the living room.
• When bedroom doors are left open, you should have at least one detector in the hallway outside the bedroom area.
Test, Clean and Maintain
Working smoke alarms are needed in every home and residence. Most models will make a chirping, popping or beeping sound when the battery is losing its charge. When this sound is heard, install a fresh battery, preferably an alkaline type. Test and maintain smoke alarms at least once a month, or follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Smoke alarms often fail because of missing, dead or disconnected batteries
“Safety experts recommend replacing smoke alarm batteries when clocks are changed for Daylight Savings Time”
October, 2011 Every Needful Thing Jason M. Carlton