Smoke detectors are very common household items that keep you and your entire family safe from fire by simply alerting you when there is smoke in the house. Usually, they emit a high frequency sound which is very loud and clearly audible. Ionization smoke detectors utilize a small but powerful amount of americium 241, a radioactive element, to detect smoke. Below on this page: About Americrium in Ionization Smoke Detectors
The average American spends over $500 million dollars on purchasing smoke detectors. That’s money that could be put back into our economy if we used these products more efficiently. Many detector companies make batteries that last longer than 10 years. But, the key is to buy the most durable, highest quality battery that will alert you when the alarm is set off for any reason.
One place where most of our detectors are placed is in the kitchen or the bathroom. Smoke alarms are often placed in ceiling or wall electrical boxes. Usually, the “hook-ups” for smoke detectors are located in the ceiling or walls near a fireplace or stove. Electrical boxes are designed to withstand moisture and temperature changes. Unfortunately, moisture and temperature changes can cause shorts in the wiring.
In addition, the wiring may become disconnected from the box, causing an audible warning. Most electricians recommend that smoke and carbon monoxide detectors be installed only in interior rooms. Some areas have smoke detectors installed that are installed on each floor of a building. It is advised that you have these alarms installed only in the interior rooms of the building where you spend the majority of your time. If you are unable to locate an electrician who can install your smoke detector on every floor of your building, discuss the option with him.
Every state has an official electrical code. Most states consider residential fires to fire that start within the house. Residential house fires are less likely to spread to adjoining rooms or to other buildings than are commercial fires. This is why smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors should be installed in every room of your house. Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors should also be installed in the attic of your house and in the crawl space beneath your house if you own more than one unit.
Before you purchase smoke detectors or carbon monoxide detectors, you should also ensure that they are connected to a circuit that sends an audible alarm when a sensor is triggered. For houses without central heating and air conditioning systems, it is best to purchase an alarm that has at least four inches of cable exposed. The minimum distance between the detector and the nearest electrical charge is six inches. Smoke detectors that are installed without alarms in the crawl space should be connected to a circuit that uses at least four inches of cable. For homes with a forced air system or a furnace, it is best to install a system that has at least two outlets. This ensures that smoke detectors are heard even when no heat is present.
Battery-powered detectors are usually the most effective. Some smoke detectors have battery packs that must be replaced annually. In contrast, smoke detectors that are installed in the duct system must be replaced annually because these devices are placed inside the ducts. The batteries in these devices must be replaced periodically.
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are only effective when the house is not occupied. They do not work effectively in homes that are often used by adults and children. If you have children in the house, make sure that the detector is placed inside the nursery, close to their sleeping areas. It is also important that smoke detectors be placed in rooms where cooking utensils and food are stored.