Every year, thousands of individuals lose their lives in house fires. Surprisingly, it’s not the fire itself that causes these fatalities, but the smoke poisoning that occurs when too much smoke is inhaled. The most effective way to protect yourself and your loved ones from the dangers of smoke inhalation is with properly functioning smoke detectors in your Twin Falls and Jerome, ID home. Call MAGIC Electric, Plumbing, Heating + Air today to get these life-saving devices installed or replaced in your home.
Carbon monoxide is a deadly, silent and odorless gas that claims thousands of lives every year. Call us today for carbon monoxide detector installation services.
The Importance of Smoke Detectors
Smoke detectors were invented in 1902 and have saved millions of lives ever since. These devices can sense when smoke levels are too high in the home and will trip an alarm to alert occupants that danger is near. In our country alone, more than 2,000 people lose their lives to smoke inhalation each year in residential buildings.
There are two types of smoke alarms most commonly used in homes today: Photoelectric detectors and ionization detectors.
- Photoelectric detectors work similarly to the same mechanisms that trigger a sound when you enter a store. You may or may have not noticed that when you go into a store, a photo beam detector is being utilized. When you cross the beam of light, blocking it, the photodetector can sense the absence of light and trigger an alarm. This same tactic is used in photoelectric smoke detectors. The only downfall with these alarms is the smoke would have to be thick enough to block the light beam in order to trigger the alarm.
- Ionization detectors are typically more responsive to flame-heavy fires. These units have a small amount of radioactive material between two electrically charged plates, ionizing the air to make the current flow between the two plates. When smoke enters the detector, the flow of ions is disrupted and the flow of the current is reduced, which then triggers the alarm.
For the best protection, we recommend utilizing both of these smoke alarms in your home. Also, you’ll generally have to choose between battery-powered or wired smoke detectors. With a battery-powered unit, you have the flexibility of being able to replace batteries as needed, however, that can often go forgotten.
With a wired unit, these detectors are connected directly to your power grid, so you won’t have to worry about remembering to replace batteries. However, if there is a power outage, they can stop working.
Where Smoke Detectors Should Be Installed
Once you’ve decided to have smoke detectors installed in your home, now it’s time to figure out where to place them. It’s recommended that a smoke detector be installed on every level of your home, from the basement all the way up the attic. We also recommend installing smoke alarms outside bedroom doors, in hallways where most people would be able to hear them in case the alarm is triggered.
Since smoke rises, it’s wise to install your detectors on the ceiling or as close to the ceiling as possible. It’s also a great idea to install your alarms to outline your fire escape route, in the case you lose visibility and have to rely on sound to escape to safety.
How Often Smoke Detectors Should Be Replaced/Tested
After your smoke detectors are installed, you can test them by pressing a button on your alarm that says “TEST” to ensure the alarm is loud enough to wake a sleeping person. You should test your smoke alarms at least once a month and replace them every 10 years.
You should never use rechargeable batteries in your smoke detector as these batteries need to be changed often and you never know when they will decide to die.
If your smoke alarm is wired instead of battery-powered, it’s important to ensure your wiring is up to code. Call us today for professional wiring repair and replacement services.
Smoke detectors can be the difference between life and death so their maintenance should be taken seriously. At MAGIC Electric, Plumbing, Heating + Air, we understand how frustrating it can be keeping up with every single smoke alarm in your home. That’s why we are here to provide routine smoke detector testing and replacement services to give you one less thing to worry about.