SERVICES > Fire Department > Fire Prevention > Smoke Alarms
Smoke Alarms have been the single most important life saving invention in history. They provide early warning, wake people up before they are overcome by smoke and they provide time to get you and your family out of a burning home. Unfortunately, hundreds of people still die every year because they did not have a working smoke alarm in their home.
There are two basic types of smoke alarms available today - ionization and photoelectric. Ionization alarms use the change in the ions in the air to detect the presence of the products of combustion. These are best for detecting fast growing fires. Photoelectric alarms use a beam of light that sense a change in the light beam caused by particles in the atmosphere. These are best for detecting slow smoldering fires.
Smoke alarms range in price from about $8.00 to $50.00 and have many features. They can be hard wired 120 volt or battery operated. Battery operated have various styles of batteries from 9 volt to AA batteries and some use long life lithium batteries that have a 10 year life. Some are built into the alarm and cannot be changed.
Alarms have a life of about 10 years. Thus the 10 year battery tells you it is time for a new alarm. Others now have a warning beep when it is 10 years old telling you to replace it.
One of the biggest complaints about detectors is the nuisance alarms going off every time you burn the toast.
Never install a smoke detector in the Kitchen, Bathroom or furnace room. They tend to lead to nuisance alarms and irritation. Smoke detectors could be installed in every other room in the house.
If your cooking habits set off the smoke detector call the Weyburn Fire Department and we will send out a qualified fire inspector to assist you in determining a better location for the smoke detector.
A new feature on some alarms is a wireless interconnection which allows all the alarms in the home to sound if any one of them senses smoke. Interconnected smoke detectors are mandatory in all apartment buildings. If one detector goes off in the building, they MUST all go off.
There are children models with a glow in the dark "Sparky" on the face of the alarm to provide a night light for the kids, and encourage folks to keep the bedroom door shut while sleeping.
There are programmable alarms which allow you to pre-record a message in your own voice telling your children to wake up defeating the urge to sleep through an unfamiliar sound.
There are combination alarms with ionization and photoelectric sensors, some have combination carbon monoxide (CO) alarms and fire alarms and some have 120 volt hard wired with battery backup for times when the power goes out.
Hard wired smoke detectors are the most reliable, but you should also install at least one battery powered smoke detector on each level of your home in anticipation of power failures.
There is a large choice available but in the end, having the basic model that just beeps to wake you up should be the minimum in every home. There is no excuse for not having a working smoke detector in your home…and it is the LAW.
MAKE SOME NOISE - TEST YOUR SMOKE ALARM TODAY