In addition to flooding, house fires are among the most common disasters that can strike a home. The aftermath of these calamities includes water damage (more info on water damage), fire damage, financial ruin, and even loss of life.
Among the most effective ways to protect your home against fire is to be proactive and install a reliable smoke detector system. But with all the different types and models of detectors on the market, how would you know which smoke detector is suitable for your home?
What Are Smoke Detectors?
Smoke detectors are devices, which sense smoke and alert you in the event of a fire. Smoke detectors can be either ionization or photoelectric, and batteries power most. 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 smoke damage restoration, 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 disaster.
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.
When it comes to detecting smoldering fires, photoelectric smoke detectors are better, such as those caused by burning mattresses or cigarettes. They are less likely to produce false alarms than ionization detectors.
How Many Smoke Detectors Do I Need?
The NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) recommends homeowners have at least one smoke detector on every house level, in every bedroom, and outside each sleeping area. It is also essential to have a smoke detector in the basement.
In addition, consider installing carbon monoxide detectors in your home. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can be deadly.
How to Choose the Right Smoke Detector?
You should consider the following five factors when choosing the right smoke detectors for your home.
1. Type of Smoke Detector
First, you need to decide which type of smoke detector is right for your needs. A photoelectric smoke detector is a good choice if you’re looking for a general-purpose detector. These units are less likely to produce false alarms and are better at detecting smoldering fires.
However, if you’re seeking a better detector detecting fast-burning fires, an ionization smoke detector is a better option. Just remember that these units are more prone to false alarms.
2. Power Source
Smoke detectors can be either battery-powered or hardwired into your home’s electrical system. Hardwired units are more reliable since they have a constant power source. However, they are also more expensive to install.
Battery-powered units are more affordable and easier to install. Just make sure to check the batteries regularly and replace them as needed.
When choosing a smoke detector, you also need to consider its sensitivity. Some units can be adjusted to reduce false alarms, while others come with built-in sensitivity settings.
Where you place your smoke detectors is as important as which type you choose. Make sure to place them on every level of your home, in each bedroom, and outside each sleeping area. You should also put one in the basement.
You also need to consider your budget when choosing smoke detectors. Prices can range from around $10 to $100 or more. Keep in mind that price isn’t always an indicator of quality. Some less expensive units can provide just as much protection as their more expensive counterparts.
Picking the right smoke detectors for your home is an important decision. With many different types and models on the market, it can be overwhelming to decide. By considering your needs and budget, you can narrow down your options and find the perfect smoke detectors for your home.
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, such as PuroClean restoration company.