Who alerts you to a flame so you can get your loved ones out in the event of a fire? You guessed it.
And for those who live alone, who alerts you to flame so it can be put out before your shoes are injured? The trusty smoke detector once again.
I've been thinking about them since the fire, but also because the shower steam set ours off the other night. Haven't heard that sound since I made dinner for a visiting relative (No joke. In the process of opening doors and windows to release the smoke, I set the house alarm off too. I am the host with the most).
So, now that you respect your smoke detector a bit more here's what you need to know:
- Make sure you've got one outside of sleeping areas & on every level
- Follow manufacturer's instructions for installation and maintenance
- Test periodically (by following directions on package-not by lighting a flame or burning a turkey)
- Vacuum/dust occasionally to keep the vents clear of debris
- Choose batteries with a long life
- Replace ones older than 10 years
Two types of technology are used in smoke detectors and each is better at detecting a certain kind of fire.
The ionization type of smoke detector is generally better at detecting fast, flaming fires that burn combustible materials rapidly and spread quickly. Sources could include paper burning in a waste basket or a grease fire in the kitchen. These kinds of fires account for 70% of home fires.
The photoelectric type of smoke detector is generally better suited for detecting slow-burning fires. These fires may smoulder for hours before they burst into flames and are caused by such things as cigarettes burning in couches or bedding. These kinds of fires make up 30% of home fires.
You may want to consider installing both types of smoke detectors, or models that incorporate both types of technology. This would ensure that you are alerted as early as possible to any kind of fire in your home.
Hmmm. Good to know.