change your smoke detector
Even the smallest of house fires can fill your home with dangerous smoke in a few minutes. it is important that you purchase the correct smoke detectors, follow the installation instructions and have them properly tested on a regular basis.
There are two types of residential smoke detectors available: photoelectric and ionization. In a photoelectric detector a beam of light is aimed into a chamber containing a photocell. Smoke entering the chamber will scatter the light, enabling some of it to reach the photocell and cause an alarm. A smoky fire will normally set off a photoelectric detector sooner than a flaming fire.
Ionization detectors use radiation that ionizes (breaks up) the air inside the unit, and gives it a small electrical charge. Smoke particles reduce this flow of current, and set the device into alarm.
Which model of detector works best? Each type has its pros and cons. Photoelectric models often run on house current, which means they will not work during a power outage. Ionization models run on house current with a battery back up, but tend to be more susceptible to false alarms. The best of both worlds is to use ionization and photoelectric in different areas of your home.
A general rule is to have a minimum of one smoke detector for every level of your home. You should also keep these guidelines in mind:
Do not install smoke detectors close to the kitchen, furnace, garage, or just outside a bathroom door. Avoid installing smoke detectors in areas where the circulation of air is poor, i.e. corners. Install each smoke alarm on a ceiling or on a wall roughly 8 to 10 inches below the ceiling.
Once your detectors are installed, test each of them monthly. The vast majority of models have a simple button to push that makes this a cinch. If your smoke detector is not equipped with a test button simple test is to just light a candle blow it out and allow the smoke to waft into the smoke detector. The smoke should set the unit into alarm.
Replace the batteries in battery-powered smoke detectors annually, on a date that you can easily remember such as your birthday, or the day you set your clocks back. While doing this, use a soft brush to clean the inside of the detector and its vents to ensure the unit’s reliability.
For more information about First Alert smoke detectors