Smoke detectors are a home’s first line of defense when it comes to fire safety. According to the American Red Cross seven people die in home fires every day. Additional research shows that many people underestimate the likelihood of a fire happening in their home are don’t take the simple steps that can keep them safe.
Types of Smoke Detectors
There are three types of smoke detectors: ionization, photoelectric, and a combination of the two.
- Ionization alarms have small chambers that contain small amounts of radioactive material that interacts with electrodes to create a current. When smoke enters that chamber it interrupts the current and the alarm sounds. This alarm works best with fires that are large and fast spreading.
- Photoelectric alarms use a light beam and a photoelectric sensor. When smoke interrupts the light beam, the light particles bounce off the smoke and activate the photoelectric sensor, which then triggers the alarm. These alarms best detect slower burning, less intense fires.
- The combination alarm offers the best of both worlds and will sound regardless of the fire type.
Smoke Detector Installation
The National Fire Protection Association has some guidelines to follow when it comes to smoke detector installation:
- Install smoke alarms inside each bedroom of your home, or outside every sleeping area, as well on every level of your home.
- Install smoke detectors at least 10 feet away from cooking appliances to reduce false alarm during cooking.
- Smoke detector installation should not occur near windows, doors, or vents that could keep them from accurately detecting smoke.
- Never paint smoke alarms! This can hinder their function.
- NFPA encourages interconnecting your smoke alarms, so that if one alarm sounds, they all sound.
Smoke Detector Testing and Maintenance
Testing and maintenance can vary from alarm to alarm depending on their manufacturer, so be sure to see what your model needs. Regardless of model type it is suggested that alarms are tested once a month.
Contact Mister Sparky Kansas City for all of your home’s smoke detector installation needs!