A smoke detector is the most important safety feature you can have in your home! If a fire were to occur- it would save the lives of you and your family. Advanced Electrical Services has a few smoke detector safety tips for you.
The law requires for you to have a smoke detectors installed in your home by every bedroom and also in halls, stairways and garages. Avoid placing smoke detectors near drafts, doors and windows. New construction laws also require that smoke detectors be hooked up to electrical wiring to be interconnected and have a battery back up in place.
Types of Smoke Detectors
There are two different kinds of smoke detectors that you can get and they both sense smoke and are IL certified. They are Ionization and Photoelectric. The difference is the way they operated and how they respond to smoke.
The first kind, Ionization has continuous current running between two electrodes and when smoke goes into the unit- the current is interrupted and the alarm sounds. The cons of this type of smoke detector is that it cannot detect the difference between steam and smoke- so it may go off in the event that you are just cooking dinner. The pros are that they are less expensive and they respond to a flaming fire quicker.
The second kind, Photoelectric responds to a reduction in light reaching an internal photocell. When the smoke goes into the unit, the light is scattered and the alarm sounds. These detectors respond more quickly to smoldering fires then Ionization smoke detectors. These detectors are less likely to send out a false alarm and are less likely to be a nuisance. This type does not alert you when the batteries are dead either. Both types need their batteries changed every six to twelve months.
Testing Smoke Detectors
Push the test button on the smoke detector to see if the alarm sounds. This lets you know if the batter is working or if the electrical power is connected. Second, test the smoke detector by placing a lit match or candle 6 inches away below the alarm to see if it will sound. If the alarm does not sound- blow out the match or candle and see if the smoke sets it off. If not, then you may need a new smoke detector. It is important to remember that just because the power is working- does not mean the smoke detector is working. Always check both.
Make sure to keep at least one fire blanket and a fire extinguisher in your home. Also be sure to have an emergency exit plan established for you and your family. Remember- once you exit your home- DO NOT return! Wait for firefighters to arrive! Too many people lose their lives by going back in their home for something.
At Advanced Electric Services, we are happy to assist you with any questions concerning smoke detectors or any various electrical questions you may have. Please contact us at 402-932-1361.