It’s Fire Safety Month and there’s more to know than you might think: Alarmtech Systems for Life is going to be highlighting different tips and providing information via our Facebook & Social Media Pages, so please follow us to receive these tips in digestible pieces. If you find these tips useful please share to bring awareness.
Do you know the difference between IONIZATION smoke alarms/detectors and PHOTOELECTRIC? Which one do you have in your home?
Information is key to knowing how to protect your home and family. We’ve got two videos below to educate you regarding Ionization and Photoelectric smoke detectors:
The inexpensive (think $9.99), easy to install, battery operated smoke alarms sold in your local hardware store will be IONIZATION — they pick up flash/hot fires very well. If installed near the kitchen they will sound when you forget to turn off your broiler. Yes, the nachos are burnt but the smoke soon clears. The fire trucks do not come because you don’t call them. These are sometimes disabled by the homeowner because of ‘nuisance alarms’.
The more expensive hardware store models (think $24.99) will be PHOTOELECTRIC or a combination of both technologies. While sensing a smoldering or flash fires, the integrated sounder will activate. The fire trucks will not come unless you are roused by the sound (not overcome by the fumes) and call 911.
Another common detector is a “builder smoke alarm” — these are required by building code during construction and are wired into the electrical system — an electrician should service these if they become dirty or dysfunctional and certainly, when they expire. Again, the sounder in the device will activate when a smoldering fire is detected (which will also trigger all the interconnected smoke alarms on various floors), but it requires a human response to alert the authorities and summon help.
IF pets are alone in the home when the above alarms sound, they cannot call 911. Similarly, the elderly may not alert the authorities due to mobility issues or in a misguided attempt to battle the fire themselves. Children who are at fault for fires sometimes try to deal with the fire, not realizing how fires grow exponentially.
However, if you have a detector as part of your Alarmtech monitored alarm system, it will be PHOTOELECTRIC technology and will trigger the alarm if tripped. We recommend leaving all other smoke alarms listed above in place and adding monitored smoke detectors to the sleeping area and the common areas/basement as well. If a MONITORED smoke detector is tripped, the authorities will be dispatched without the need for human action. Family members could be absent, overcome with fumes, napping, or even unaware that a fire is smoldering in a corner of the house.
In Alarmtech’s thirty year history, our monitored alarm systems have alerted the authorities to fires several times; in a house with pets (all saved except the lizard whose heater caused the fire), in a home where the teenager who answered the phone insisted there was no fire, only to realize that it was slowly growing in the basement and in businesses while closed due to faulty equipment and vandalism. We believe that Ionization AND Photoelectric detectors play a part in daily safety and encourage you to make decisions that are right for your home/business/situation.
For further information about Alarmtech’s products and services, please contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation at 519-434-3996 | 800-461-5800 | firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out our online form request sales consultation.
Written by Nancy Hoevenaars, Functional Manager/HR/Marketing