More people are waking up because they woke up to the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and smoke inhalation. Having smoke detectors and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors installed in your home or apartment can save your life. At Craddock Electrical we are dedicated to keeping you safe and these two devices are essential.
Think You Don’t Need Them?
Smoke detectors are needed in every home – as they are mandatory in hotels and all public buildings. As for carbon monoxide detectors, these life-savers are needed in any home with fuel-burning (gas/propane/fuel oil) appliances such as a furnace, water heater, range, cooktop, or grill.
Even all-electric homes need carbon monoxide detectors. Carbon Monoxide (CO) is often called the silent killer and can seep into the house from places like an attached garage. There are cases where people have died using a backup generator during a power outage which was too close to your living quarters.
Smoke detectors are not all the same: The best are the kind that can warn you of flaming and smoldering fires. We suggest a smoke detector in every bedroom and at least one in the attic space, main floor, and if applicable the lower level or basement.
Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed on all living levels of the home—but never install a CO detector inside an attached garage.
There are different types of smoke detectors and understanding their purpose and the best place to locate them is important too. We at Craddock Electrical want to make sure your home is equipped with the proper devices and installed in the most advantageous locations.
Types of Detectors
Ionization smoke alarms are generally more responsive to flaming fires. They contain a small amount of radioactive material between two electrically charged plates, which ionizes the air and causes current to flow between the plates. When smoke enters the chamber, it disrupts the flow of ions, thus reducing the flow of current and activating the alarm.
Photoelectric smoke alarms are generally more responsive to fires that begin with a long period of smoldering (called “smoldering fires”).Photoelectric-type alarms aim a light source into a sensing chamber at an angle away from the sensor. Smoke enters the chamber, reflecting light onto the light sensor; triggering the alarm.
Dual-Sensor Smoke Detectors combine ionization and photoelectric technology. Having these installed prevents the need for having two different kinds of detectors, but there is still the need to install CO detectors.
So what’s the Difference?
- In independent lab testing, ionization alarmsresponded an average of 30 to 90 seconds faster to “fast-flame” fires than photoelectric smoke alarms.
- In smoldering fires ionization alarmsresponded an average of 15 to 50 minutes slower than photoelectric alarms.
- There is no device available today that combines CO and smoke detection that is effective for both types of fires.
Powering the Devices
When choosing the type of alarms and the best way to ensure they are “powered up” Craddock Electrical wants you to now the different choices.
- Hard-wired smoke and carbon monoxide detectors tie into your home’s wiring and we suggest a battery backup in case of a power failure.
- Plug-in detectors are an option, however electric outlets are usually installed low while the best place for detectors in close to the ceiling.
- Battery powered detectors are easy to place anywhere – we suggest lithium batteries that can last as long as the detectors themselves.
- Smart detectors: Some smoke and carbon monoxide detectors can be linked so all units in the house will sound an alarm when any individual alarm is activated. Some (newer) homes have wiring in place to link the detectors. If your home doesn’t have this you can get detectors that interconnect wirelessly. These smart detectors are an important safety feature in a home with multiple levels. For an apartment or smaller one level home a single unit detector may be adequate.
There are other less common devices that Craddock Electrical can suggest based on your home’s layout and specific needs. Contact Craddock Electrical to find out more about what we can do for your home and your family’s safety!