Having a smoke detector in your home is legally mandated in order to keep you and your family safe. If you do not have one, or yours is broken, you will need to get one right away. There are a few different types of smoke detectors that you can find on the market these days, which we’ll explain in a minute. Once you have decided which smoke detector is right for your house and your family or business, then have them properly installed with correct placement. Placement of smoke alarms is important to get proper early warning but fewer false alarms.*
One common type of smoke detector is the photoelectric smoke detector. These are the ones that tend to “see” the smoke. What that means is that they are able to detect the actual particles of combustion in the air. They can easily detect certain types of fires, like those that smoulder and take time to burn. Typically, if you had a burning cigarette or something that was burning at a slow rate, they would pick it up.
Another type is the ionisation smoke detector. These detectors are different from photoelectric ones, in that they do not “see” the smoke, but instead they “feel” it. They will also detect these invisible particles of combustion, but they work better for fast fires that are burning high and may have very little smoke involved with them.
The gallery above shows a selection of smoke detectors available at Masters. The all look the same but they’re all different. From left to right we have a photoelectric smoke detector, an ionic and a dual ionic/photoelectric smoke detector. If you’re installing your own smoke detectors make sure you read the package carefully when you’re purchasing.
If you are hearing impaired, there is also a detector for you on the market as well. Instead of having the beeping noise as most alarm systems do, they will have a flashing strobe light or a vibration pad that can be placed on the floor so people will feel it. They are usually part of a network of detectors placed around the house, so if one detects a fire in one part of the house, all the alarms will go off to properly warn the people inside.
It is important to know just what kind of smoke detectors are out there, that way you can properly and effectively protect your household from fire. You want to make sure that you have a detector that is up to date on all of the regulations that are demanded by the government. Also, you should make sure that you maintain them so they are always going to be working properly (eg test regularly and replace batteries every year). You do not want to have a faulty smoke detector; you should always have one that is in good working condition at all times. Keeping your family safe can start with just one great smoke detector.
* Placement of detectors is something we’ll go into in another article.