Home fires are not unusual. In 2015 alone, there were 365,500 house fires in the United States, resulting in 2,560 deaths and $7 billion in direct property damage, according to the National Fire Protection Association. In Canada, an average of 8 people die every day due to fires, with many more sustaining injuries.
Smoke detectors play a crucial role in protecting your home and family from fire. In fact, having working smoke alarms in your home can reduce your risk of dying in a fire by as much as 55%. Choosing a suitable smoke detector for your home is essential, with so much at stake.
What Are Smoke Detectors?
These are devices that sense smoke and alert you in the event of a fire. Smoke detectors can be either ionization or photoelectric, and most are powered by batteries. Some newer models are hardwired into your home’s electrical system.
They work by detecting either smoke particles or heat and can be triggered by anything from a cigarette burning in an ashtray to a large fire.
Home fires involve costly fire and smoke damage removal services, especially if you don’t have insurance that can pay for the damage. Having a smoke detector, which doesn’t cost you much money, can help avoid this. Also, experts recommend having at least one smoke detector on each level of your home, outside each sleeping area, and inside each bedroom.
Still, be sure to have a list of your trusted local fire damage restoration professionals (like PuroClean) in case a fire occurs.
Two Types of Smoke Detectors
1. Ionization Smoke Detectors
Ionization smoke detectors feature a small amount of radioactive material that creates an electric current between two plates. Smoke particles disrupt the current when they enter the chamber and trigger the alarm.
Ionization smoke detectors are better at detecting fast-burning fires, such as those caused by flammable liquids or gasses. However, they are also more likely to produce false alarms due to cooking smoke or steam.
2. Photoelectric Smoke Detectors
Photoelectric smoke detectors have a light source that shines a beam of light into a sensing chamber. When smoke particles go into the chamber, they scatter the light triggering the alarm.
Photoelectric smoke detectors are better when detecting smoldering fires (such as those caused by burning mattresses or cigarettes). They are less likely to produce false alarms than ionization detectors.
How to Choose the Right Smoke Detector?
Think of the following factors when choosing the right smoke detector:
1. The type of smoke detector (ionization or photoelectric)
Ask yourself what type of fires are most common in your area. If you live in an area with many wildfires, ionization smoke detectors may be a better choice.
Homeowners who live in these regions also have emergency contact numbers of restoration companies, such as these fire and water damage restoration Vernon experts, in case of fire and water damage.
2. The size and age of your home
Ionization smoke detectors work best in small homes because the radioactive material can quickly sense smoke particles in a small space. Photoelectric smoke detectors may be better if you live in a larger home.
3. The sensitivities of your family members
If someone in your family is susceptible to smoke or has asthma, you may want to choose a photoelectric detector. These types of detectors are less likely to produce false alarms than ionization detectors.
4. Your budget
Smoke detectors range in price from $10 to $100. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on a smoke detector, but more expensive models usually have extra features, such as a built-in carbon monoxide detector or an escape
5. Whether or not there are small children or pets in the home
If you have small kids or pets in your house, you may want to choose a smoke detector that has fewer chances of producing false alarms.
6. The power source
Most smoke detectors use batteries, but some newer models are hardwired into your home’s electrical system. If you choose a battery-powered model, make sure the batteries are easy to change.
What’s the Best Way to Test Your Smoke Detector?
You must test your smoke detector regularly to ensure it is working properly. Generally, smoke detectors have a test button that you can press to simulate smoke and trigger the alarm. You should also vacuum or dust your smoke detector regularly to prevent false alarms.
Picking the right smoke detector for your home can be a challenge. There are many factors to consider, including the type of fire that is most common in your area and your home’s size. By choosing a suitable smoke detector, you can help keep your family safe in the event of a fire.
If a fire occurs in your home, immediately call your local fire department. In addition, contact a fire damage restoration near you to begin the cleanup process. Ensure to choose an experienced company by visiting their website to read testimonials.