Fire Prevention

National Fire Prevention Week: Are Your Smoke Alarms Working?

Every year we celebrate National Fire Prevention Week during the week of October 9. This awareness week was started in 1922 by the National Fire Protection Agency in response to the Chicago Fire of October 9, 1871. This particular October is a special year because 2022 makes it the centenary, or 100th anniversary of National Fire Prevention Week! In honor of that milestone, we want to help all of you be prepared and stay prepared for any home fire hazards that may threaten you and your family.

According to the NFPA (The National Fire Protection Association), our homes, the places we feel the safest, are usually where most fires happen and claim lives. In fact, homes are the scene of 74% of the total fire deaths in the United States.

Additionally, the NFPA says that because of fires burning hotter and quicker these days due to the materials that make up our homes and appliances, the allotted time for escape is much shorter than it used to be. According to The Underwriters Laboratories, the average homeowner has 3 minutes or less to escape a burning house.

How can we combat these hazards? Smoke alarms are the first and most effective line of defense to prevent fire-related tragedies.

Smoke Detectors: A Life-Saving Tool

How Do Smoke Detectors Work?

Although people tend to take their function for granted, it’s good to know how smoke detectors work.

Most smoke alarms use batteries for power. Some smoke alarms are hardwired and are interconnected to each other, so if one alarm goes off, the others will as well automatically. Hardwired alarms need to be installed by a licensed electrician.

Different Kinds Of Smoke Detectors

We encourage all homeowners to make sure smoke detectors are installed and working correctly. There are many kinds of smoke detectors that can be difficult to manage below are a few to consider.

Ionization Smoke Detectors & Photoelectric Smoke Detectors

Ionization smoke detectors are the most common type of smoke alarm in America. These kinds of alarms are best for noticing rapidly growing fires by picking up on small airborne particles produced by the burning flames.

On the other hand, photoelectric smoke detectors can notice larger particles given off by fire.

These alarms are less common but great for alerting homeowners of a smoldering, slow-moving fire. Many homeowners choose to install these alarms in their bedrooms. This is due to the idea that some people smoke in bed or use space heaters while asleep.

Due to every fire being different, alternate technologies are needed to pick up on different kinds of fires. For this reason, dual-sensor smoke alarms exist. Dual-sensor smoke detectors are devices that combine detection methods from both ionization and photoelectric alarms.
Smart smoke detectors come with newer technology to improve function such as LED lights, vibration for alerting the hearing impaired, voice alerts, and fire locating technology.

Where Should You Place Smoke Detectors?

Smoke detectors should be located in every bedroom and outside of every sleeping area on the ceiling or high up on walls. Place alarms near the staircase on the upper level (or the living room or den if no bedrooms are available).

Avoid placing alarms in the kitchen because the stove and oven may result in false alarms. To be safe, set smoke alarms at least 10 feet away from the stove.

Do You Need an Electrician to Install or Replace Your Detectors?

Since all homes that have been constructed since 1978 are required to use interconnected, hardwired alarm systems, it would be prudent to make sure you call a licensed, professional, and trusted electrician to service your alarm system.

Our team is used to getting on tall ladders and accessing elevated hard-to-reach locations. We would be more than happy to help you make sure your family is safe from fire hazards. We also install smoke detectors so don’t hesitate to call if you need help! We want to make sure you stay safe. Remember, You’re Fine With Tru-Line.