Do You Understand Smoke Alarms?
A house fire can be a frightening experience, but according to the National Fire Protection Agency, one of the best fire safety measures is to use a properly functioning smoke alarm. This simple step can dramatically increase your chances of survival if a fire occurs while you are at home.
That’s why it’s important to know how to choose a smoke detector that you can rely on to protect you and your family.
Choose the Type of Smoke Alarm
1. Ionization alarms use a minute amount of americium-241, a radioactive element, to ionize the air that flows into the mechanism. If smoke is introduced, the flow of air is interrupted, which triggers the alarm to sound. These alarms work better at detecting fires that flare up quickly and don’t produce much smoke, such as those started with highly flammable materials. Ionization alarms are the most cost-effective.
2. Photoelectric alarms incorporate a light and a sensor. In its normal state, the sensor does not detect the light; however, smoke particles disperse the light, causing the sensor to detect it and activate the alarm. This type of alarm is better at detecting fires that produce a lot of smoke, such as smoldering fires that are started in beds or upholstered furniture. Photoelectric alarms are more expensive than ionization alarms.
3. Dual sensor alarms combine aspects of both ionization and photoelectricity; therefore they detect both types of fires regardless of how much smoke is produced. Because they are the most effective, they are also the most expensive.
Note the Power Source
Most smoke detectors run on batteries. If they do, you need to be sure to change the batteries regularly, at least once per year. However, some use lithium batteries, which can last up to 10 years. Some even can be connected directly to your home’s current, only using batteries as backup when the power is interrupted.
A smoke alarm can help prevent fires, but sometimes they happen anyway. In the unfortunate event that your home is damaged by a fire, SERVPRO of East Bradenton / Lakewood Ranch can respond quickly to your home. Our techncians are trained and certified.
Call Us Today – (941) 747-2333