Installing a smoke alarm in your home is probably the most effective and easiest ways to protect your family and yourself from fire and related dangers. Unfortunately, many people believe that, if they do have a fire in their home, they have plenty of time to respond and get out. This does not consider the dangers inherent in a fire, including deadly poisons in smoke that can kill without someone even knowing the toxins are there.
Despite the benefits made possible by smoke alarms, many people don’t avail themselves of the peace of mind they provide. What follows is a short description that will provide background on smoke alarms and what they can do to protect anyone who has them.
Smoke Alarms? Why Bother?
About 13 out of 14 American homes have a smoke alarm installed. But, almost half of home fires happen in homes that do not have an operable smoke alarm. More than 60 percent of all residential deaths occur in homes where there is no working smoke alarm.
A smoke alarm can warn anyone in a home when they are asleep, in another part of the house, or busy and not paying attention. They permit sufficient warning time to get out of the house.
Too Inexpensive to Ignore
It doesn’t matter how you look at it, smoke alarms are cheap. This is especially true when you consider that a smoke alarm can easily save you and your loved ones. Battery-powered residential alarms can be purchased for as little as $10, and with alkaline batteries at $1 to $2 apiece, they are a small price to pay for safety.
How Do Smoke Alarms Work?
As valuable as they are, smoke alarms are remarkable simple devices. A smoke alarm works by continually checking the air for any trace of gas or smoke particles produced by a fire.
The two primary types of smoke alarms are photoelectric alarms and ionized alarms. The ionized kind of alarm is usually less expensive, and they can detect a fast and flaming fire. Photoelectric type alarms are more costly, and they are better at detecting slow-moving, smoldering fires. Photoelectric alarms are, by contrast, less sensitive to steam from cooking and showers.
Many smoke alarms are battery-powered, while others operate using household electricity. Even in the latter case, a battery is usually installed to provide backup power in the event of an outage. A qualified electrician should ideally install an electrical smoke alarm, but regardless of the type of alarm you select, be sure that it is maintained property to maximize its effectiveness as well as its life.
Smoke Alarm Installation
Most experts agree that one smoke alarm is not enough for most homes. Instead, they recommend that each floor of a house be equipped with an alarm, preferably located at a common point of bedrooms. Each floor of a home should have at least one smoke alarm. This includes the basement if there is one.
The best place to mount a smoke alarm is on the ceiling, about four inches from a wall. If the ceiling has a gable, the alarm should be mounted at its highest point. A smoke alarm can also be mounted on a wall, but it should be about four inches below the ceiling. Keep alarms away from doors, windows, and fireplaces.
Try to avoid installing an ionized smoke alarm in an area with steam, such as a bathroom or a kitchen. If you want an alarm in these areas, opt for a photoelectric alarm. This will reduce the number of false alarms caused by steam.
Maintaining Your Smoke Alarm
An amazingly large number of smoke alarms do not work simply because they are not properly maintained. Smoke alarms should be tested periodically to make sure they are working correctly. Simply put, smoke alarms can save lives. To do this, however, a smoke alarm much is installed and maintained correctly. The best way to ensure this is to work with a qualified and experienced electrician, such as those at GB Electrical Services, which offers both Electrical Service and Smoke Alarm service for residential and commercial clients.
GB Electrical Services offers only the finest in smoke alarm services since they understand how vital these alarms are to protect your family. If your home doesn’t have Smoke alarms, it’s well worth the few dollars to get them and know you and your loved ones are protected.
For more information about how GB Electrical Services can assist homeowners with smoke alarms and related services, check out our website at https://getthebestelectric.com/. We care about all of your smoke alarm needs.
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