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Home Fire Safety 101: How to Choose the Best Smoke Alarm for Your Home?

Almost 4000 Americans lose their lives every year in house fires, but having a working smoke detector can more than double your chance of survival. There are two main different types of smoke alarms you can install in your home.

In this guide, we will take a look at the best smoke alarm for your home and how it can increase your fire safety.

The Two Different Types of House Fires

There are two different types of fires that are common in people’s homes:

  • Slow smoldering fires
  • Fast flaming fires

There are several ways that these fires can start, but the result is either slow smoldering or a fast flaming fire. Slow smoldering fires occur when combustible materials burn slowly without flames.

These types of fires are most common when smoking materials are left unattended. They often start in large pieces of furniture like sofas and mattresses and emit large amounts of smoke which is often toxic.

Fast flaming fires occur when flammable liquids or materials such as paper and wood catch fire. These fires might not produce a lot of smoke, but they produce large, violent flames that can easily set fire to other materials in the home.

Photoelectric Smoke Detector

Photoelectric smoke detectors are designed to sense slow smoldering fires. Inside the photoelectric smoke detector is a small chamber. There is a beam of light that shines from one end of the chamber to the other.

When the smoke from a smoldering fire begins to collect inside the chamber it deflects the light from its path. The light then hits a light sensor at the bottom of the chamber and the alarm is triggered.

Ionization Smoke Alarm

Ionization smoke alarms are designed to detect fast flaming fires. Inside the smoke alarm are two metal plates connected to a battery.

Between the two plates is a small amount of a radioactive substance called Americium-241. This substance converts air molecules into positive and negative ions that complete the circuit between the two metal plates.

When smoke enters the alarm the ions bond with the smoke and this disrupts the circuit – this triggers the alarm.

The Best of Both Worlds

There is no way of knowing which type of fire might start in your home. You are more likely to have slow smoldering fires occur in living rooms and bedrooms, but that doesn’t rule out the chances of a fast flaming fire starting there.

A house fire is not something you want to take any chances with, so the best smoke alarm for use in the home is a dual-sensor alarm. These smoke alarms use the technology of both types of alarm so that you can be sure to detect either type of fire.

Make Sure You Have the Best Smoke Alarm for Your Home

It’s important to understand the different types of fire and how to choose a smoke detector that is best for your home. A dual-sensor alarm is the best smoke alarm for your home. It can detect both types of fire so you don’t have to worry.

For more useful information to help keep you safe around the home and everywhere else, be sure to take a look at our other articles.

Red Note: 30 September 2022

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