The PuroClean Blog

How to Choose Smoke Detectors for Your Home

Smoke alarms are necessary safety devices in every home. According to statistics, smoke alarms double the chances of surviving a home fire. For increased safety, smoke alarms should be installed on every level of the home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Choosing the right smoke alarms for a home is also important. Here are the deciding factors for choosing smoke alarms:            

  • The type of smoke alarm:
    • Ionization alarms are better at sensing the smoke particles of fast flaming fires, such as paper fires, but are poor at recognizing slow flaming fires.
    • Photoelectric alarms are best at detecting particles resulting from slow burning fires like electrical fires or those started in bed by a cigarette. These types of smoke alarms should be used in the kitchen, since they are less sensitive and won’t be triggered by cooking smoke.
    • Dual-sensor alarms incorporate both ionization and photoelectric technologies, and provide the best protection.
  • A large house should be equipped with hardwired and interconnected smoke alarms, so that when one sounds, they all do. These alarms also have backup batteries in case the power goes out. Using independent alarms is also a good idea. They are easier to install, but are not connected with the other smoke alarms in the home.
  • The label on the packaging informs the buyer whether alarm has been tested and certified by an independent testing laboratory like Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. These laboratories ensure that the alarm meets the industry standards. In addition, it is best to choose the most recently manufactured smoke alarms.
  • The alarm should have a “test” button. To make sure the alarm works properly throughout the year, it must be tested monthly by pushing its “test” button. It is also important to know that some alarms can be tested with a remote control.
  • The alarm should be simple to maintain. Alarms with removable covers allow one to vacuum the unit gently. In addition to vacuuming, the build-up from the outside of the unit should be removed with a clean wipe and mild detergent.
  • For individuals with hearing impairments, there are specialized smoke alarms that have a strobe light and/or a vibrating pad. These devices are typically placed under the pillow and can be interconnected with conventional audible alarms in different locations within the home.

To ensure smoke alarms work properly, they must be tested once a month and the batteries should be replaced once a year. In addition, smoke alarms must be replaced every 10 years. The PuroClean team stands ready to provide professional restoration services to any property affected by fire, water or mould damage.