While SERVPRO of East Ft. Worth is here to help if you suffer from a fire. We still want each of our customers to be as safe as possible. Here are some tips to make sure your house is prepared in the event of a fire.
The Different Types of Smoke Detectors
There are two main types of smoke detectors: those that use photoelectric detection and ionization detection.
Ionization detectors are more common because they are generally mass-produced and typically inexpensive, but photoelectric detectors are fairly affordable.
Ionization detectors are best at detecting flaming fires, while photoelectric alarms are usually more sensitive to smoldering fires. The best idea is to either have a combination of the two types of alarms or find one alarm that utilizes both detection types.
How Many Smoke Alarms Do I Need?
For maximum protection, one smoke alarm per room except for the bathroom, kitchen, and garage. Heat alarms may be considered where fumes from cooking or smoke from cigarettes or open fires could lead to unwanted alarm activations.
For minimum protection, one smoke alarm for each level/floor of your home.
Test Your Smoke Alarm Often
Test your smoke alarm at least once a month to ensure it is functioning correctly. Most alarms have a test button. Hold the button for a few seconds and see if the alarm sounds. If you don’t hear it or faint, it’s time to replace your batteries. Keep your family safe by remembering to check your alarm regularly.
If you don’t change your alarm’s batteries, you’ll likely hear that annoying high-pitched periodic chirp until you do. While the sound is grating, it does an excellent job reminding you when the battery is low and it is time for a fresh one. If you’re unsure whether or not the battery is dead, test it in a non-safety device.
When in doubt, throw it out. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. It never hurts to give your fire alarm a fresh new battery, even if you aren’t sure if the last one is dead. Consider writing the date on the new battery with a permanent marker so when it dies, you can see how long it lasted and know approximately how long each battery will work in your particular alarm.
Experts recommend you change your smoke alarms about every 10 years. When it comes to your family’s safety, you’ll want to make sure your equipment is functioning well and that you are using the latest technology to warn of fire danger.
Combination Alarms are Available
Arguably even more dangerous than a fire is carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide gas is odorless and tasteless, yet extremely toxic, and therefore very dangerous. It is produced by vehicles and gas-powered furnaces, and unsafe levels cause hundreds of deaths each year. If possible, look for a fire alarm that also includes a carbon monoxide sensor.
Know Your Evacuation Plan!
The purpose of a Smoke Alarm is to give an early warning of an outbreak of fire! You and your family must know exactly what to do when the Smoke Alarm activates.
Plan an escape route, then run fire drills. If possible, figure out two ways to exit every room, even if that means out a window. Make sure everyone in the household understands and can run through the escape route. The practice should include the post-exit meeting place outside.
- Practice drills during less-than-desirable times: in the middle of the night, in very cold weather, etc., as well as under more ideal circumstances.
- Tweak the plan as necessary. Who may be capable of actually sleeping through the alarm? This should be addressed. Make sure that an escape plan is in place for physically disabled occupants, babies, and pets.
- Purchase a folding ladder in case an escape through an upper window is necessary.