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Death By Fire

Nearly four thousand Americans die every year in residential fires. Most of these deaths are not from heat or flames but from inhaling smoke and toxic fumes. Smoke is actually the particles of combustion generated by what is burning – paper, wood, chemicals, plastic, upholstery, or other fuels.

Buying Time

When a smoke detector senses smoke, it sounds an alarm automatically. Most fatal home fires occur between 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. Fires often generate lethal amounts of unseen smoke and fumes well before flames are visible and before heat makes residents feel uncomfortably warm. As a result, many people who die in home fires are asleep and never wake up. When carefully purchased, installed and maintained, smoke detectors can prevent such needless deaths. Smoke detectors buy time to get out of the house fast – before toxic fumes accumulate to lethal levels.

Purchasing

Quality, not price, should be the determining factor when buying smoke detectors. Check for the following.

Which Type?

Which is better?

Ionization detectors are more sensitive to the tiny particles of combustion that can’t be seen or smelled - those emitted by flaming fires. Photoelectric detectors are more sensitive to the large particles of combustion emitted by smoldering fires.

The differences between the two types are generally not critical, since the difference in response time is only a matter of seconds. Since most home fires produce a rich mixture of smoke types, with detectable amounts of both large particle and small particle smoke early in the fire’s growth, either an ionization or a photoelectric detector will meet most needs.

Placement

Installation

Maintenance Check List