Buying a smoke alarm or heat detectors used to be an easy thing to do… Yet now there are four main types of alarm, the job of protecting your family has become that little bit harder.
Knowing which detectors to install and the best place for them to go can be the difference between getting out of a blazing house – or not.
Not only can a correct installation save lives, it can also reduce nuisance false alarms which account for many smoke detectors having their batteries taken out by irritated and, now unprotected, families.
So, to stop confusion and help you protect yourself, here are the four main detectors and some installation suggestions.
Please note: You should always read and follow the instructions that come with your detector. If possible get a professional to install your fire detectors.
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Optical Smoke Detectors:
This type of detector is the pricier choice but is better at detecting slow-burning fires, the type that might occur when your sofa ignites or some wiring starts to overheat.
Less sensitive to faster fires, optical alarms aren’t as prone to false alarms due to cooking mishaps and should be placed near, but not in, the kitchen.
A cheaper alternative to the optical detector, these alarms are very sensitive to smaller particles of smoke that are created from paper and wood fires.
The cheaper price tag comes with a flaw, they should not be placed near kitchens as you will get repeated false alarms from your burnt toast. Ideally suited for landings.
The best option for your kitchen or garage! Unaffected by smoke, these detectors look for rapid changes in temperature and will not cause a false alarm if you burn the Sunday roast.
Though these alarms are better for the kitchen, they also have a very small range and so several may be needed to cover the entire area.
Combination Optical And Heat Detectors:
Using both optical and heat detection in one alarm is the best way of increasing both speed and accuracy of fire detection. Though these alarms can be more expensive, they do have reduced false alarm rate and can be fitted in bedrooms, living rooms, hallways and landings.
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