According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), around 26% of fires that occurred in the United States from 2015 to 2019 started as house fires. What’s worse is that 75% of fire deaths were caused by house fires. Hence, to protect yourself and your family from fires, it’s critical to install a fire alarm at your home.
There are two kinds of smoke detectors for household use: ionization alarms and photoelectric alarms. Let’s take a look at their key features so you can choose the appropriate one:
Ionization alarms contain a tiny amount of radioactive material. This kind of smoke alarm generates a current that is triggered by smoke particles, setting off the alarm. Since they are very sensitive, they are suited for fast-flaming fires that don’t emit a lot of smoke, like burnt wiring. With that said, they’ll likely cause false alarms in the kitchen, so it’s best to keep them in the bedroom.
Photoelectric alarms are pricier than ionization alarms, but they’re better at detecting smoldering fires. In other words, they respond rapidly to fires that burn for hours. Photoelectric alarms rely on a photocell and a light beam that faces away from the former. When smoke enters the alarm, it “scatters” the light emitted by the beam. As the light hits the photocell, it triggers the alarm.
There are other types of alarms that you should consider installing in your house:
Fires can start anywhere, which is why you should always install a fire alarm or two. As a rule of thumb, install fire alarms all around your house, particularly in areas such as:
Position your fire alarms properly. When installing a fire alarm, remember these tips from the NFPA:
Fire alarms can save your life, so having them in your home is non-negotiable. To protect yourself and your family, hire a professional to inspect the fire-prone areas in your house. You can also call a technician to check your appliances so they don’t pose a fire risk.