When you have had a fire in your home, your life gets turned upside down. You experience terror, danger and a whole lot of damage to your home. After the initial trauma passes, you begin to rebuild. You have a unique opportunity to upgrade the smoke alarm system to increase future protection for your home.
We at Restoration 1 of Winston-Salem know the substantial difference between available smoke alarms and detector technology. Basic smoke alarms detect smoke then sound the alarm from the smoke alarm unit. Two different technologies are used in smoke alarms: ionization and photoelectric.
Over 90 percent of house smoke alarms are ionization alarms. Generally, ionization alarms are more responsive to flaming fires. The term “flaming” fires refers to fires resulting from flammable liquids, wood or paper starting on fire. This type of fire produces a lot of flames with a limited amount of smoke. Most house fires are categorized as fast-flaming fires, which is why ionization alarms are popular in homes.
Ionization chambers are the essential difference between ionization alarms and photoelectric alarms. Within the ionization chamber, there are two plates with voltage in between them. If an electron in this space is knocked out of place due to smoke entering the chamber, it causes the alarm to go off.
A photoelectric smoke detector is characterized by its use of light to detect fire. Inside the alarm, there’s a light-sensing chamber. In this chamber, an LED light shoots a beam of light in a straight line across the chamber. The alarm detects smoke; when smoke enters the chamber, it deflects the LED light from the straight path into a photo sensor in a different compartment in the same chamber. As soon as light beams hit this sensor, the alarm begins to sound.
The dual smoke detector has both ionization and photoelectric technology inside. Generally, ionization smoke alarms are best for detecting rapid flame fires while photoelectric smoke alarms protect against slower, smoldering fires.
With technology today, it is affordable to create a complete fire alarm system that uses a separate fire alarm control unit. The detector senses the smoke and sends a signal to the control unit to sound the alarm, often monitored by an off-site facility that can contact the fire department. Consider these features:
Most fatal fires occur late at night or early morning, while you’re asleep. For this reason, the National Fire Protection Association recommends placing smoke detectors in every occupied bedroom, as well as on every floor, including the basement. Smoke alarms should be installed in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home–on the ceiling or high on the wall. In the kitchen, install at least 10 feet from a cooking appliance.
Install hard-wired, interconnected smoke alarms so that if one sounds, they all sound. These multiple-station smoke alarms can be installed by a licensed electrician either 1) hard-wired or connect 2) wirelessly.
Create a complete fire alarm system that uses a separate fire alarm control unit. The detector senses the smoke and sends a signal to the control unit to sound the alarm, often monitored by an off-site facility that can contact the fire department.
A house fire is one of the most devastating accidents that can happen to a property. They’re also the most costly, sometimes causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage. In addition, a fire prevents you from living or working in your property until the restoration process is complete, as the fumes can potentially be carcinogenic. If you’re facing serious fire and smoke damage, the team at Restoration 1 is here for you. The Restoration 1 team is trained in all types of damage restoration and certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification. Free inspections from fully-trained and certified restoration technicians within one hour of your call.
Contact Restoration 1 for immediate assistance with property damage. Or check out the free downloadable disaster forms and checklists on our website.