Detectors are vital in protecting our families from the dangers
of fire. The end of October marks the start of Daylights
Saving Time. When the rest of the country adjusts their
clocks, they also change the batteries in their smoke detectors.
It is important that we too, change the batteries in
our smoke detectors.
Fire kills an estimated
4,000 people each year. Two-thirds of these deaths happen
while the victim is at home. It is important that we
protect our families from the dangers of fires. Smoke
detectors help to alert us of the presence of smoke, providing
us with warning and the opportunity to escape without harm.
Maintaining our smoke detectors by replacing the batteries
annually can help assure early warning in the event of a fire.
In newer homes,
it is common to find smoke detectors powered by AC or household
current. Although, the energy is primarily provided
by the household current, a battery is installed for backup.
It is important that the batteries be changed annually in
this type of detector as well. When a battery is no
longer sufficient, a chirping noise is often generated by
the smoke detector signaling the need to replace the battery.
It is a good practice to replace the batteries in all smoke
detectors as soon as one battery needs replacing. Replacing
the batteries each year at the start of daylight savings helps
to make the annual event memorable.
need to be placed in the hallways leading to sleeping areas.
If the hallway extends 30 feet, a smoke detector should be
installed on each end. Further, it is best to have an
additional smoke detector installed in each bedroom.
Smoke detectors should be placed at the top of each stairwell
and at each end of a long hallway.
Newer homes have
smoke detectors that are linked to one another. This
allows the smoke detectors installed in the home to intercommunicate.
If smoke is detected at one location, a signal is passed to
all linked smoke detectors and each detector's alarm sounds.
There are two types
of smoke detectors. Ionization
Chamber detectors use a radioactive source to produce electrically
charged molecules (ions) in the air. This sets up an electric
current within the detector chamber. When smoke enters the
chamber, it attaches itself to the ions and reduces the flow
of electric current, thus setting off an alarm. The
second type is a Photoelectric detector. Utilizing a beam
of light, once the beam of light is not received because of
too many smoke particles, the alarm is sound.
is important for the safety of your family that smoke detectors
are installed and properly maintained within your home.
The cost of a smoke detector is often less than $10 and annual
maintenance can be performed in 15 minutes. Smoke
detectors save lives and protect your property from damage.
Give them fifteen minutes of your time, it may be the best
fifteen minutes of your life.
National Fire Protection
US Fire Administration
City of Phoenix,
Fire Services http://www.ci.phoenix.az.us/FIRE/fireidx.html