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Smoke Detectors..
Save Lives

Why do we need smoke detectors?
Because smoke detectors can save your life - and your family. Most fatal home fires occur at night, while people sleep. Fire produces toxic gases and smoke that actually numb the senses. If you're asleep, or become disoriented by toxic gases, you may not even realize that there is a fire. You can't rely on your own senses to detect a fire.

Is there proof that smoke detectors save lives?
Yes. almost every day, news reports across the country tell of cases where smoke detectors have saves lives. In several instances, the detectors weren't even installed, yet alerted families to fire.
Fire officials continually cite smoke detectors as life savers in home fires.

What about the conflicting claims concerning the two types of smoke detectors - Ionization and photoelectric? Which smoke detector is better?

Ionization models respond slightly faster to open flaming fires while photoelectrics respond faster to smoldering fires. Ideally a home should be protected by at least one of each. If you can afford just one detector a photoelectric is recommended.

Photoelectric smoke detectors use either an incandescent light bulb or a light emitting diode (led) to send forth a beam of light. When smoke enters the detector, light from the beam is reflected from the smoke particles into A photocell sensor and the alarm is triggered.

The ionization chamber smoke detector has a small radiation source that produces radioactive material, electrically charged air molecules called ions. These ions cause a small electric current to flow in the chamber. Smoke particles entering the chamber attach themselves to the ions, reducing the electrical flow. The change in current sets off the alarm (horn).



Types of Installation

  • Homes with one sleeping area:
        Detector should be place centrally located between the bedrooms
  • Homes with more than one sleeping area:
        Detectors should be located in each sleeping area.

  • Maintenance
    It is extremely important to regularly test and clean all detectors.

    What should I do if my alarm sounds?


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    Last modified: Tuesday, June 19, 2007
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