Fire Alarms Double Your Chance for Surviving a Fire!

Fire safety is one of the highest concerns of home safety! Having fire alarms installed in your home can be the difference between life and death if a fire breaks out. Fire alarms can double your chances for surviving a fire!

Installing a fire alarm is a simple job that you can do yourself. There are three main types of fire alarms, Optical, Ionisation and heat alarms.

An Ionisation alarm works by closely monitoring the quality of the air in your home. These alarms will detect particles that are so small they can’t be seen or even smelled.

They’re very prompt in alerting you to fires that are hot and fast burning. However, since they often detect even common particles such as dust, steam and even small insects they are prone to false alarms.

As the name implies, Optical alarms work by actually seeing the smoke. A small infra red beam is emitted onto a photocell and the alarm is set when smoke interrupts this beam.

Optical alarms are more efficient for fires that are slow burning and produce a lot of smoke. While this type of alarm is less prone to produce false alarms, there are occasions they still will go off without the presence of a fire.

Heat alarms come in two basic types, Rate of Rise and Fixed Temperature alarms. Heat alarms are less sensitive to particles of dust in the air and require little maintenance.

Rate of Rise alarms will measure changes in the room temperature and compare them against an absolute temperature. This type of fire alarm has a high rate of false alarms as they’re often set off by steam from a boiling cooker and heat from opening the oven door.

Most Fixed Temperature alarms will activate when the temperature reaches around 136* F. This type of alarm is the best for use in or near the kitchen, the alarm won’t be set off as easily by steam or heat from appliances!

The type of fire alarm you choose to use is pretty much a personal preference. But, it is highly recommended that you use a combination of the types for more adequate notifications!

Fires aren’t all the same, some can engulf a home in minutes while others smolder and take time to consume a structure. If you ever have a fire, there’s no way of knowing what kind of fire it will be. So, using a variety of fire alarms is important.

Interconnected alarms are becoming more and more popular. This is a system of different types of alarms that are all connected. When one goes off they will all go off!

Large homes can really benefit from an interconnected system. While a fire may be burning out of control on one end of a large home, you may not hear the alarm if you’re in the other end. This system will alert you no matter where the fire starts from!

Basic fire protection can be obtained from battery operated alarms. They are very easy to install since they require no wiring and maintenance is as easy as changing the batteries on a regular basis. But, smoke alarms that run off electricity and have a battery back up are recommended over a basic battery type.

For people who are hearing impaired, there are fire alarms that use strobe lighting as the alarm. These can also be used with regular fire alarms as an extra warning.

Installation and maintenance are the most important factors in properly working fire alarms. On the average of 12% of home fires the alarms failed to go off due to low or dead batteries.

The U.S. Fire Administration recommends that there are alarms installed on each floor of your home. There should be alarms in the bedrooms if there are electrical appliances such as televisions.

If you have a two story home and only one fire alarm, it should be placed close to the bedrooms. The best area is at the top of the stairs where it can easily be heard if you’re asleep.

Most smoke alarms are mounted onto bases that just screw into the ceiling. The best position for an alarm is the center of the room. However, they should never be installed near light fixtures that emit heat!

Basic smoke alarm maintenance should include a battery check on a weekly basis and a battery change at least once per year. You should also keep your alarm clean. Cobwebs and dust can be removed with a damp cloth or vacuum cleaner.