A Crash Course on Smoke Alarms

Smoke Alarms They’re all around us, yet we don’t pay much attention to them… they’re smoke alarms and smoke detectors. Designed to “go off” if too much smoke fills a space, a good smoke alarm/detector can save lives in the case of a fire. Alarms alert people that there’s a problem and they need to vacate the premises quickly.

Smoke Alarms vs. Smoke Detectors

Did you know there’s actually a difference between what people call “smoke alarms” and “smoke detectors?” Although people use these terms interchangeably, the truth is that there’s a big difference… Smoke alarms are what we’re used to seeing and using in our homes– self-contained units that not only sense smoke but also give off an audible alarm when that happens. Meanwhile, smoke detectors simply detect smoke, but don’t have the audible alarm as part of the same unit. Typically, the smoke detector can detect smoke and then the alarm is triggered via a central system unit– so you’d find detectors in places like hotels, malls, and hospitals.

Photoelectric vs Ionization

Another interesting thing you might not know about is “photoelectric” vs. “ionization” sensors. With smoke alarms, for instance, they might have one or both kind of sensors. For your knowledge, photoelectric sensors are good at sensing smoldering, slow-burning fires that don’t make big flames, whereas ionization sensors work well detecting fast-burning fires full of flames.

Battery vs Hardwired

Finally, smoke alarms are either battery operated or hardwired into your home or building’s electrical system. Every time you “turn your clocks forward or back” for Daylight Savings Time, that’s a good time to test your battery operated alarms and replace the battery if needed. Oh, and one more thing: The National Fire Protection Association recommends you replace your smoke alarms every ten years.

Life Safety Consultants of Palm Coast, Florida, offers a variety of fire alarm parts, as well as smoke detectors, batteries and more. Indeed, Life Safety Consultants is your source for parts for any system, including Simplex, Siemens, Edwards, Notifier, and Cerberus. Should you have any questions about smoke alarms/detectors, don’t hesitate to call 1-888-557-0558.

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