What is a Smoke Alarm?
Smoke alarms are important in one’s home or commercial building because it can save lives. When properly installed and maintained, it can alert occupants and reduce fire deaths and injuries. If there is a fire in your home or building, the smoke alarm can detect smoke before you can. The alarm will alert you and give you precious time to escape the fire. Smoke and fire can spread quickly therefore you should install a smoke alarm in every sleeping room, outside each separate room, and on every level of the building. Test your smoke alarms once a month to ensure that they are working properly.
What is a Fire Alarm?
Similar to smoke alarms, a fire alarm is designed to alert us to an emergency so people in the home or building can protect themselves. These alarms may be activated automatically from smoke detectors, heat detectors, or manual fire alarm activation devices. Fire drills are implemented in schools and workplaces to enact a response by evacuating the area in case of an emergency. This system is beneficial because it can alert the central fire station to respond to the scene.
Types of Fire Detection Devices
There are two types of smoke alarms - ionization and photoelectric. An ionization smoke alarm is more responsive to flaming fires compared to a photoelectric smoke alarm which is more responsive to smoldering fires. Both types of alarms or a combination of ionization and photoelectric are recommended for the best protection. However ionization smoke alarms are more prone to false alarms. So ionization smoke alarms should be used only in certain applications.
Where to Place Fire Detection Devices
According to the NFPA, it is important to have enough smoke alarms in your home. Fire research has demonstrated that with today’s modern furniture, fires can spread more rapidly than the natural materials used. Because of this, the number of properly located smoke alarms is essential to allow yourself available time to escape. The NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code requires the minimum smoke alarms to be installed inside every sleeping room and additional outside sleeping area on every level of the home. Homeowners and enforcement authorities should take steps to make sure that every home has a sufficient amount of smoke alarms.
Where Do You Install Fire Detection Devices?
Smoke alarms should be installed at least 10 feet (3 meters) from a cooking appliance to minimize false alarms when cooking. Alternatively, using heat detectors in lieu of smoke alarms in the kitchen is highly recommended. You should mount smoke alarms high on walls or ceiling because the smoke rises. Wall-mounted alarms should be installed no more than 12 inches away from the ceiling. If you have a ceiling pitched, install the alarm within 3 feet of the peak but not within the apex of the peak. Don’t install smoke alarms near windows, doors, or ducts where drafts can occur because it may interfere with their operation. Never paint smoke alarms because it can damage the device. Make sure all your smoke alarms are from the same manufacturer, so they are compatible with each other.
Legal Requirements for Commercial Buildings
Commercial buildings are required by law to have equipment and procedure in place to detect, alert, and notify building occupants to take action in the event of a fire. Fire alarm systems and detection devices are essential fire safety features that should be installed in commercial buildings. Businesses must install detection devices in every room and every level of the building. Commercial buildings are also required to maintain and test smoke alarms regularly to ensure the system is working properly. Annual inspections must be completed by a qualified inspector and the inspection report must be kept on site at all times.
Alltek Systems Design
Alltek Systems is a specialized custom integration firm with experience in designing and installing solutions to your home or commercial building in Asheville, North Carolina. We work with architects, interior designers, builders, and homeowners. With fully licensed contractors, we value responsibility in all of our projects from installation, maintenance, service, and training. Our mission is to provide the best electronic systems solution for your home or business. Contact us to schedule your appointment today.