Guide To Choose A Legit Smoke Detector
First of all, why do you need a smoke detector? Does the word “SMOKE” alarm you?
When you smelled something smoky it should signify fire. What’s next? If you can extinguish the fire, do so thoroughly. If not, run for your life! It only takes less than 30 seconds for a small flame to turn into a major fire.
As a fire grows inside a building, it will often consume most of the available oxygen, slowing the burning process. This “incomplete combustion” results in toxic gases. Most fire deaths are not caused by burns, but by smoke inhalation or toxic gas poisoning.
So, where is your SOS coming from? The answer is — Smoke Detectors (alarm). It alerts you when smoke is detected in your vicinity. If you have smoke detectors in your home, you’ll have a better chance of getting everyone out safely.
How much will a good smoke alarm cost you?
Cheap smoke detectors seem to be in the market, especially on online shopping platforms. The price of a smoke detector is as low as your imagination can go. From RM10 and up to RM200, with a price differential of 20x.
However, I do believe that product prices go by quality and reliability. If a smoke alarm can work perfectly with only RM10, is there any quality control at the ground? Quality control (QC) obviously makes an essential contribution to the reliability of a product. The detector might beep for no reason. The smoke alarm life span does not meet expectations and needs replacement anytime. As well, the accuracy and sensitivity become inaccurate, and that your alarm will be erroneously triggered.
Thus, choosing the right smoke detector would make a difference.
What to look for in a smoke detector?
- Pick a power source – hard-wired vs wireless. Hard-wired smoke detectors tie into your home’s wiring, which requires professional installation. Wouldn’t you prefer wireless, whereby no additional labor costs incur? And yet, wireless smoke detectors are easy to install DIY and are battery operated. There’s no worry about power failure.
- Battery life. If you’re getting a battery-powered smoke detector, you’ll have to ponder what kind of battery to use. Either one with an annually replaceable 9-volt battery, or a ‘long-life’ 10-year battery. The latter is pricier but more reliable and long-lasting usage. This eventually saves you more in the long run and ease your frustration of having to change the batteries yearly.
- Sensitivity and accuracy. You may not want to burn your house down to test how well the smoke detector is working. However, the sensitivity of a detector can be somehow demonstrated in simulating smoky conditions. With that being possible, you can gauge the reliable underlying technology in a smoke detector. Elsewise, look for smoke alarms that are third-party listed or certified to make sure it meets the Underwriters Laboratories Standard.
- Placement of smoke detector. It is recommended that smoke detectors need to be installed on the ceiling or uphigh on walls. While the strategic locations to install smoke alarms would be at least one unit on every floor. In all bedrooms, or at the doorway to the rooms. In the middle of the living room and near the dining room. To install at the kitchen it has to be 6-10 feet away from the cooking area.
- Mount the smoke detector tight. Dropping the smoke detector might disable the smoke alarm parts which are not serviceable.
AFTER INSTALLATION – MAINTENANCE
- Keep the smoke detector clean. Vacuum it at least once a month or as and when deemed necessary. Ensure no dust particles are blocking it from its sensors. After cleaning, hold the test button to test if the smoke alarm is in proper working order.
- Change the batteries when required. Smoke detectors will chirp in the event of a low battery. Replace a dead battery in your smoke alarm or replace the smoke alarm.
- Smoke detectors must be changed every 10 years. The lifespan of a smoke alarm has an average life of about 8 to 10 years. It is recommended that smoke alarms be replaced every 10 years. It will be helpful by noting down the date of installation.
What additional features do smoke detectors have?
Combination of Smoke & Carbon Monoxide (CO) detector – CO is odorless, tasteless, colorless, and poisonous. It is completely undetectable without an alarm. When the smoke & CO detector sense a certain amount of carbon monoxide over time, it will sound an alarm. Get it here.
Combination of Smoke & Heat detector – Most smoke and heat sensors detect smoke before they detect high temperatures. But there are some cases where the high temperatures may reach the sensor first. With dual detection methods, these sensors respond quickly to both smoke and high heat.
Integration with Alarm System – You can also find some smoke detector models that connect with alarm system. As long as one of these sensors activates, the device will alert the system and trigger an alarm. Such systems may also have a monitoring service that contacts you and your emergency contact or even notify the fire department.
*Kidde is one of the world’s largest manufacturer of fire safety products, including fire extinguisher, carbon monoxide detector and smoke alarm lines.
Fire Safety Tips:
- Install a reliable smoke detector.
- Don’t overload power strips.
- Don’t leave cooking food unattended.
- Make a fire escape plan. Pick an outside meeting place where family and firefighters can easily spot you.
- Dial 999. When in doubt, call. Seconds count.
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