Archive for the ‘Smoke Alarms’ Category

Are your smole alarms safe

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

The most common smoke alarms in residences are an ionization-type. These are the type of smoke alarms that most builders and homeowners install, and what is readily available at hardware stores. It is strongly recommended that ALL ionization-type smoke alarms – regardless of age – be replaced with PHOTOELECTRIC technology smoke alarms.  Photoelectric smoke alarms have been shown to respond much more reliably under most real-world conditions.  Nearly 95% of the smoke alarms installed in residences in the US are IONIZATION technology alarms. There is significant scientific research that shows that ionization alarms WILL FAIL TO RESPOND to the smoldering/heavy most often found in residential fires.  Ionization alarms are also notorious for nuisance tripping from cooking, bath shower steam, etc.  Ionization alarms are approved for use and do comply with the legal requirements for smoke alarms on transfer in MOST jurisdictions.  However, due to the significant failure rate in real-world fire situations, these alarms pose a significant life-safety risk to the occupants.  Verifying the type of alarm installed is not part of this inspection and is specifically disclaimed.  All smoke alarms should be tested per the manufacturer's instructions and replaced at least every 10 years to insure proper function.  Interested parties should consult with a qualified trade specialist for service.