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According to the United States Fire Administration, approximately 2,600 Americans die in home fires every year. Over half of these deaths (52%) occur between the hours of 10 pm and 7 am, when residents are typically sleeping. Smoke and toxic gases from a home fire are as deadly as heat and flames. Just two or three breaths of toxic smoke can render you unconscious. The majority of fire victims die or are injured from exposure to smoke and toxic gases, such as carbon monoxide, not actual burns. In addition, smoke obscures vision, decreasing your ability to escape.
Smoke alarms save lives, prevent injuries, and minimize property damage by detecting fires early and alerting residents, allowing crucial time to escape. The risk of dying from a fire in a home without working smoke alarms is twice as high as in a home that has working smoke alarms.
Smoke alarms are designed to detect the presence of smoke as it passes through the device. Once smoke is detected the alarm will sound.
There are many types of alarms, but they are generally broken up into two categories: Ionization and Photoelectric.
Both types of alarms have their strengths, and it is up to you to decide which type of alarm you prefer. To make the decision easy, alarm manufacturers have created dual sensor smoke alarms that have photoelectric and ionization detecting capabilities.
The United States Fire Administration recommends that every residence and place where people sleep be equipped with one of the following:
After you have decided on what type of alarm you would like, there are a variety of sounding mechanisms to choose from. Some devices simply loudly beep, while others will talk to you and direct you to evacuate. If you are hearing impaired, manufacturers have designed detectors that use strobe lights and/or vibrate in order to alert the occupant. Smoke alarm technology has come a long way and there are many alarms on the market today to suit the needs of every customer.
Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement. Many fatal fires begin late at night or early in the morning, so the U.S. Fire Administration recommends installing smoke alarms both inside and outside of sleeping areas.
Since smoke and many deadly gases rise, installing your smoke alarms at the proper level will provide you with the earliest warning possible. Always follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions.
There are two types of power sources for smoke alarms:
Smoke alarms should be tested once a month by pressing the test button located on the device. Batteries should be replaced once a year (except for lithium batteries)....for safe practices, change your batteries every time you change your clocks!
Smoke alarms are fairly inexpensive and reasonably priced. Ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms cost between $6 and $20. Dual sensor smoke alarms cost between $24 and $40.
Hardware stores and most department stores sell smoke alarms. You can also purchase them online. If you are unsure of what type of alarm to purchase, please feel free to contact us at 757-220-6220 and we will point you in the right direction. Don’t cheat yourself out of an important life-saving tool....get one today!!