Every year, fire brigades are called out to douse over 600,000 fires that result in over 17, 000 injuries and over 800 deaths. Among these fires, about 50,000 are reported in homes that kill around 500 while injuring over 11,000. However, many of these fires could have been stopped from happening, if proper warnings were sounded and people could come out of their home in time. Here comes the importance of having smoke house alarm systems installed at your home to prevent any death and destruction happening to your property.
What are smoke alarms?
These are devices that have smoke detectors that check out the presence of any fire and an alarm that goes off in the event of such fire detected. These devices are usually fitted to the ceiling and sound off warnings if fires are detected, giving you enough time to leave your house with your family members into a safer place.
What types of smoke alarms are available?
These devices come in three different types, the Ionization, the Optical (also referred to as photo electronic) and a hybrid of these two types.
Ionization: These devices also are used as burglar alarms are the cheapest to be found in the market. They are quick to smell small particles of smoke as produced by flaming fires, and give out warnings before the fire gets too thick. They are a bit less sensitive to smoldering fires that produce large quantities of smoke before the occurrence of actual flame.
Optical: The optical fire type is expensive, though are sensitive enough to detect larger particles of smoke that come out of slow-burning of fires like burning foam filled upholstery and PVC wiring. However, they are comparatively less sensitive to free burning fires.
Combined: These are the most effective ones with the capability to detect both slow-burning and flaming fires.
Both the types look similar while being powered by a battery or mains electricity (sometimes a combination of both). They are often interconnected and on detecting smoke at one point, they can set all the warning systems simultaneously.
Many of these, including burglar alarm systems are provided with facilities like silence buttons and emergency lights that are used in the event of false warning being sounded, e.g. when cooking.
Which smoke alarm should I choose?
If you are planning to buy the house fire type, it is better to consider the type of fire that could possibly occur at your home. Usually, fires of both the types could occur, so it is wiser to get one of each type.
It would do well to get warning devices, including burglar alarms that work on both the mains power as well as back-up power supply (like rechargeable capacitor or battery). However, battery powered alarms of either type will be enough to provide minimum protection required.
How many should I fit in my home?
Fires can start from anywhere, so for better protection, it will do well to fit fire house alarm in each of the room. Know the risk in each of the room and select the type required.
If your home is on one floor, a single smoke alarm, possibly the optical type, is enough to suffice your need of providing early warning of a fire. For homes with more than one floor, there is a need to fix a minimum of one burglar alarms systems on each level and a combination of optical and ionization types, preferably interconnected, will be the right choice.
These devices should not be fitted in the kitchen or bathroom as the cooking fumes or steam emanating could set off a false warning. Garage should also be free of alarms as the exhaust fumes are likely to trigger the warning sound. Smokes from burning cigarette will normally not set off any warning.
Where do I fit my smoke alarms?
These warning devices should normally be fitted as near to the center of the ceiling as possible, but with a 12 inches distance from the any wall or light fitting. Make sure that the location of the device is such that the warning sound could be heard throughout the home.
Looking after your smoke alarm
These devices require very little maintenance and it would do well to follow the instructions as given in the manual. A few minutes of checking your system will go a long way to help your device work well and save your life and the lives of your family.