Choose the Right Smoke Detector
If you are like many people, you probably didn’t know that there are different kinds smoke detectors, which means you would probably go to the hardware store and get the first one that you see. Every year, there are many people either injured or killed due to home-related fires. The reason for that is because either the smoke detectors didn’t work properly or the homeowner didn’t have the proper smoke alarm installed. Knowing more information on the different smoke and fire alarms and which type best suits your home will have a better impact on saving your life in the chance that there is ever a fire.
Where Can I Get Smoke Detectors?
Smoke detectors can be purchased at any hardware, home supply or general merchandise store located near you. Some fire departments offer smoke alarms at little or no cost.
Where Should Smoke Detectors be Located?
Every home should have smoke detectors and they should be placed on every level of the home including the basement. The detectors should be placed outside every sleeping area and the bed should be no more than twenty feet from the alarm. If there is people in the home that sleep with the door closed, then a smoke alarm should be installed both inside and outside of that room.
Two Different Kinds of Smoke Detectors
Most people don’t know that there are different kinds of smoke detectors and that each one serves a different purpose. Knowing the difference will have a better chance at saving a persons life.
A photoelectric smoke detector uses ultraviolet light, a photoelectric receiver, and a lens. All of the components are arranged inside a vented chamber so that air can flow. If there is smoke, it will move through this chamber. There is also an LED light that sends a beam of light across the chamber. There is a separate compartment inside where there is a photosensor that detects the light. As the smoke enters this area, the smoke interrupts the light, which causes the light to scatter toward the light sensor. This makes the alarm sound. Photoelectric smoke alarms are very responsive to fires.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, photoelectric smoke alarms are outstanding at providing proper warning for the different types of fires. They give homeowners more time to get out of the house when a fire begins.
An ionization smoke detector contains americium-241 in a very small amount. It is housed in an ionization chamber. This produces an electric current between a pair of metal plates, which is what sounds the alarm. This happens because these metal electrodes are connected to the battery. When in contact with americium-241, air molecules are converted into positive and negative ions. When smoke enters the alarm, these ions bond with the smoke, causing the alarm to sound.
Ionization smoke alarms are typically more responsive to an active fire. This type of alarm can detect a small amount of smoke. If food on the stove starts to catch fire, the alarm is going to detect it. That is why this type of fire alarm is currently found in kitchens. However, this type of alarm may not sound in enough time to allow a homeowner to get out fast.
The Fire Alarm Verdict – SPS Fire & Security Can Help
After hearing about both kinds of smoke alarms, a homeowner should get photoelectric smoke alarms for their house. Photoelectric alarms will respond faster in alarming homeowners to get out in the event of a fire than ionization alarms.
Also remember that your security system has a fire alarm built into it. It is another way to make sure you and your family are safe. If you don’t have a security system with fire and carbon monoxide detection built-in, contact SPS at 585-770-0348 and ask us about how we can make you and your home safer.