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Best Smoke Detector

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The Best Smoke detectors are a necessity in every home. Fire statistics show that having a detector reduces the risk of dying in a fire in half. So the addition of a twenty dollar item can give you a 50% better chance of living through a fire in your home. Smoke detectors have become a commonplace fixture in most homes. It has been reported that up three quarters of U.S. homes have at least one smoke detector. With roughly two third of home fire deaths occurring in homes with no smoke detectors it only makes sense to have at least one installed.

Ionization vs. Photoelectric Smoke Detectors

The two most common smoke detectors are ionization and photoelectric. These two detectors react differently depending on the type of fire. An ionization detector is generally more responsive to a flaming type of fire while a photoelectric works best with a smoldering type of fire. More home type fires are actually smoldering types of fire so a photoelectric is often the best choice. Since it is never known what type of fire may strike the best protection is the incorporation of both types for full protection.

Smoke Detector Installation

The best protection is to have a smoke alarm installed in every level of the home including the basement. There should also be a smoke alarm placed in close proximity to the sleeping area. A smoldering fire can kill you while you sleep so a smoke detector located close to your sleeping area is the best type of protection.

Mount smoke alarms high on walls or ceilings (remember, smoke rises). Ceiling mounted alarms should be installed at least four inches away from the nearest wall; wall-mounted alarms should be installed four to 12 inches away from the ceiling.

If you have ceilings that are pitched, install the alarm near the ceiling’s highest point.

Don’t install smoke alarms near windows, doors, or ducts where drafts might interfere with their operation.

Always follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions.

Smoke Detector Maintenance

In 23% of the home fire deaths, smoke alarms were present but did not sound. It is extremely important to not only have them installed but to make sure that they work correctly. Most manufacturers recommend testing weekly but if you are not willing to do this then monthly should be the minimum. You can test your smoke detector by depressing the button but this is only testing the battery. You can purchase a smoke detector testing aerosol that will simulate smoke. This is what professionals use to test large alarm systems and this is the best way to ensure that your smoke detector will sound in the event of a real fire. It is always a good idea to make sure that you can hear the smoke alarm in all parts of your home. The following tips are important in the maintenance of your system:

  • Never try to test a smoke alarm with any aerosol spray other than one specifically manufactured for that purpose. Other types of sprays contain material that will stick to the sensor, and make the device less reliable in the future.
  • Do not use candles or incense to test a smoke detector. The smoke produced by candles and incense contain waxy or oily particles that can contaminate the sensor and reduce its sensitivity.
  • Never paint any part of the smoke detector

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