Early Warning With Smoke Alarms
There are two types of fire alarms: photoelectric alarms - which respond faster to smoldering smoke conditions - and ionization alarms - which respond faster to flaming fire conditions. Either will do the job of sending an early warning of a fire, if they are properly maintained.
Choosing a Smoke Alarm
Most alarms are available at hardware, department and home stores for under $20. Depending on the size and configuration of your home, you may need more than one alarm. Ideally, you should have one outside each bedroom and on each level of your home, including the basement. Install these according to manufacturer's inspections - exactly. Look for alarms that have been approved by a recognized testing laboratory and meet safety requirements.
For hearing-impaired residents, select a smoke detection device that signals by activating strobe lights and/or a louder than usual audible signal.
Maintaining your Smoke Alarm
Testing each smoke alarm helps you recognize the warning signal and ensures the units are working properly. Cleaning eliminates dust that can collect on alarms and may cause a false signal. Remember to install fresh batteries in all alarms twice a year. We are usually reminded when the Daylight Savings Time changes occur.