3 out of 5 home fire deaths occur in homes with no or non-working fire alarms. The risk of dying in a home structure fire is cut in half by having properly installed and maintained smoke alarms.
Smoke Alarms Save Lives: In the news recently, there have been many tragic stories regarding the loss of life due to fire. In a majority of the incidents, the cause of death has been due to the residence having no or non-working fire alarms. A fire can become life-threatening within two minutes of starting. It is imperative to be alerted immediately. Having a professionally installed, monitored fire system is the best way to keep your family and valuables from becoming a preventable statistic.
Where Do I Put Smoke Detectors in my Home? A smoke detector should be placed on every level of your home, including the basement. You want to install one inside each bedroom, as well as place one outside any sleeping area. You want to have your smoke detector either on the ceiling or 6-8 inches below the ceiling on a sidewall. Smoke rises; the higher the location of your detector, the quicker you will be alerted to smoke or fire.
Are There Different Types of Smoke Detectors? There are currently two different types of technologies used to detect smoke and fire. Photoelectric smoke detectors rely on an electric current, which produces a beam of light. When the beam is disrupted, an alarm will sound. It is most effective to warn about a smoldering fire. Ionization smoke detectors contain a very small amount of americium-241 within an ionization chamber. They create an electric current between two metal plates, which sound an alarm when disrupted by smoke entering the chamber. It is the most effective to warn about flaming fires. A qualified alarm consultant can help identify which type of alarm type would be most efficient for your residence.
Why Should I Invest In a Monitored System? When you have a professionally installed, monitored fire alarm system in your home, you offer your family and valuables the best overall protection. If a fire is sensed, your alarm will activate all evacuation horns throughout your home. Even if you are on another level of your home, you will be alerted of smoke or fire. A battery-operated, single unit, the smoke alarm system does not offer this type of protection because the units are not connected. If there is a fire on a different level or area of your home, you may not hear the evacuation horn, especially if you are asleep.
If your alarm is triggered a signal will be sent to your central station and they will promptly notify your fire department. Every minute counts in a fire situation, the quicker help arrives, the less damage to your home and valuables. While having a AC powered system (connected, but not monitored) in your home may alert you in all areas of your home, it will not help you if you are not home. A monitored fire system will alert the authorities to a situation whether you are there or not, potentially saving your valuables and even pets.
How Often Should I Change My Smoke Alarms? Whichever type of system you are using, it is recommended that smoke alarms are replaced every 10 years. If you are using a combination of smoke and carbon monoxide detector, you should replace your system every 5 years.