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In this world of noise, there is one sound that alerts to impending tragedy. A functioning smoke alarm is a necessity in any structure. Smoke detectors can be found in everything from planes and trains to office buildings and homes. But why do we need them? MasterGuard answers some of these questions.
Some people insist that they “would know” if their building or home was on fire. What if you weren’t home? What if it was in the middle of the hustle and bustle of a busy office and no one heard the alarm? Smoke detectors are required by law in all public indoor spaces. These alarms are there for one reason, to save lives.
Research done by fire safety experts MasterGuard state that 50% of lives are saved with the use of operational smoke detectors. Many fatalities have been reported from faulty or disabled detectors. Many detectors have been found to have dead batteries or no batteries at all. In older homes where ventilation is murky, research shows that many detectors have been removed from essential areas due to the alarm sounding while someone is cooking in the kitchen. Other fire evidence has shown there were too few alarms in the house and they were ineffective in warning the occupants within.
So the question is how many smoke detectors do you need and where should they be placed? MasterGuard recommends one detector to be placed on every level of the home, including one alarm placed outside sleeping areas or bedrooms. If a person habitually sleeps with their door closed, this will impede the smoke within from reaching the alarm. Therefore these individuals should have an additional alarm within the bedroom space. Additionally, those with televisions inside bedrooms should also add alarms to those rooms. Places that should not have smoke detectors are kitchens and garages. Smoke, heat and car exhaust fumes can give the detectors the wrong information and cause the alarms to sound needlessly. Also, never put alarms in non-insulated areas like crawl spaces. Extreme heat and cold can confuse the detectors as well.
Smoke detectors have come a long way and many detectors can be hardwired into the existing power of the home or office, ensuring durability and functionality. Hardwired alarms also have back up batteries that should be checked semi-annually. MasterGuard warns there are two types of detectors available. The ion type smoke detector is more useful in fires that consist of open flame. The photoelectric type of alarm detects smoldering fires more quickly and is less likely to cause kitchen heat miscues. A good idea is to place a mixture of these in your home.
Alarms should be installed within 4-12 inches from the ceiling in your home. Some alarms can be installed directly on the ceiling. They should be no closer than 3 feet to a heat register. Also, they should not be within 3 feet from a door of a bathroom with a shower. MasterGuard states that alarm placement near bathrooms or heat registers can be ineffective due to the constantly changing temperatures of these items in the home; steam from the shower and hot or cool air from the registers.
Smoke detectors are essential for a safe and fireproof home. Taking a few moments and working with fire safety specialists Masterguard will help you ensure that your house is ready in case of FIRE.