How To Choose a Smoke Detector For Your Home
Selecting Smoke A Detector For Your Home
With well-chosen devices and regular maintenance, The National Fire Protection Association claims the presence of a smoke detector can double your chances of surviving a house fire. Taking special care in selecting the devices that will protect your home is crucial for giving you the time you need should that smoke alarm go off.
Consider the Size of Your Home
Unless your Linwood, NJ home could be considered a hallmark of the tiny house movement, you’re probably going to need more than one smoke alarm. The NFPA recommends a smoke detector be installed in multiple locations:
- On every level, including basement and attic
- In every hallway that leads to a sleeping area
- Within every bedroom
- At either end of a stairway
With a minimum of three detectors necessary for a two-bedroom home, it is important to consider the variety of options available for fire safety.
Choose Your Preference
What smoke alarm you choose largely depends on your personal preference, but it is important to know the pros and cons of each option:
• Ionization alarms create an electric current within the smoke detector by ionizing the air with minimal amounts of the radioactive element americium 241. If smoke particles enter the chamber, the current will be disrupted and trigger the alarm. They are highly susceptible to flaming fires, such as from paper or grease.
• Photoelectric alarms incorporate a small strobe light which when diffracted by smoke particles, will trigger a sensor that sounds the alarm. Smoldering fires, often started in bedding or clothing, are better detected by this device.
• Combination devices will have a dual-sensor to incorporate both ionization and photoelectric components. The NFPA recommends having a mix of both styles of smoke alarms within your home, making this a single choice for cohesive protection.
Other considerations to include: power source, a convenient way to regularly test, ease of maintenance and other personal needs such as visual assistance or carbon monoxide testing.