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Fire Safety Tips: Fire Alarms, Detectors, and Escape Ladders

 

When it comes to protecting your home and family from fire, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. No corners should be cut when it comes to your family’s safety. To that end, you’ll need smoke alarms in place as well as pre-planned escape routes. Here’s an overview of smoke alarms, detectors, and escape ladders and their many benefits.

Photoelectric Smoke Alarm

These types of alarms are battery operated, and designed to sound an alarm only when smoke hits an inside sensor. This serves to decrease the number of false alarms and enhances the speed in which the smoke particles are recognized by the alarm. Popular brands of photoelectric smoke alarms include Kidde, BRK, and Gentex.

Ionization Smoke Alarm

Ionization smoke detectors use both an ionization chamber andionizing radiationto detect smoke in your home. Ionization smoke detectors are favored by some because they are inexpensive and able to detect very small amounts of smoke. Popular manufacturers of ionization smoke alarms include First Alert, Kidde and BRK. Many ionization smoke alarms are available for less than $20. Other benefits include built in silencers, additional back up battery power and more.

Combination Photoelectric & Ionization Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms that combine the advantages of photoelectric sensors as well as ionization smoke alarms are available by brands such as Kidde, BRK, and First Alert . This type of alarm features two of the most advanced fire detection technologies. These are generally more expensive than an ionization alarm, but are still an incredible value, ranging in price from $25-$45.

Duct Smoke Detectors

Duct-mounted smoke detectors detect smoke and help prevent smoke recirculation in HVAC duct work. With a duct smoke detector (also called a sampling tube) installed, the device will trigger smoke alarms when particles of smoke reach the alarm threshold in an HVAC duct system. Duct smoke detectors can be connected to most types of smoke alarms. For a quality brand of duct smoke detectors, please see our line of System Sensor fire safety equipment.

Hearing Impaired Smoke Detectors

Both Kidde and BRK make hearing impaired smoke detectors, which operate by using a strobe light, in conjunction with steady or flashing lights to alert those with hearing impairments to the presence of smoke.

Heat Detectors

Heat detectors are meant to be used as a SUPPLEMENT to smoke alarms. They are not technically smoke alarms, so it is best to assume that a heat detector alone is NOT enough to protect you and your family from a house fire. Heat detectors can be used to monitor the interior of a home during heat waves, to help prevent death or injury from increased heat levels. Industry leaders Kidde and BRK offer a line of heat detectors for protection against deadly heat levels.

Escape Ladders

If you live in a two-story home, you should always plan what to do in the event a fire traps you upstairs. Escape ladders are an inexpensive way to safeguard you from these types of dangers. For fire escape ladders that are compact and easy to use, please see our line from Kidde and First Alert.