Smoke Detectors & Your Home

Smoke Detectors & Your Home


Because time changing has gone from every six months to intervals that are approximately four and eight months apart, that little reminder to check smoke detector has fallen to the wayside. It used to be that fire detection manufacturers used the seasonal time changes to encourage homeowners to test the battery and the smoke detector unit itself, but that practice seems to have fallen to the wayside.

Smoke Detectors Save Lives

smoke alarmAlso known as fire detectors, smoke detectors can save your life and help your family get out of the house in the event of a fire.  In times past, one detector on each level of the home was considered to be sufficient, but fire officials encourage people to place smoke detectors in each bedroom, hallways outside of the bedrooms as well as on each living area.

When shopping for smoke detectors, you’ll come across two types of devices. An ionization smoke alarm is more responsive to flaming fires while a photoelectric smoke alarm is more responsive to smoldering fires. Which one to get?  Using both is a smart idea.

Check Your Fire Detectors Monthly

Experts tell people to check smoke detectors monthly, not just twice per year.  Push the test button in and if you hear a sound it is working; if not replace the battery. If it still isn’t working, the unit may have died and needs to be replaced.

You can have smoke detectors installed by an electrician in the event that your prefer to have them wired to your home’s electrical system. Keep the battery in it as a back up and test the battery as you normally would. When a battery is about to die, that smoke detector will send out periodic reminder beeps to tell you that it needs to be replaced. However, don’t rely upon this exclusively as you want to keep in the habit of checking the unit monthly.

Special Smoke Detectors

For the person who is hearing impaired, special detectors with strobe lights and/or vibrators can wake the soundest deaf person from a deep sleep. Instead of being mounted high up on the ceiling like standard fire detectors, these types of units are mounted to the wall.

Lastly, if you have young children in the home, you can purchase a smoke detector which includes a recording function, allowing you to leave a message which can help wake up your child if the alarm goes off.

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Photo Credit: Timi az en vaok


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Categories: Home Tips

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".