If You Have These Smoke Alarms, Get Rid Of Them!

By
Home Inspector with Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula
http://actvra.in/4XsG

If You Have These Smoke Alarms, Get Rid Of Them!


There are two types of smoke alarms, photoelectric and ionization. Which one should you use? Ionization alarms respond marginally faster to an open or “fast-flame” fire than a photoelectric smoke alarm. On average, ionization alarms will react about 30 to 90 seconds faster to this type of fire. 


However, nearly 100% of residential fire fatalities are from smoke inhalation and not from the actual fire. Most fatal fires happen at night while the occupants are asleep. An ionization alarm will respond 30 to 90 minutes slower to a smoldering fire than a photoelectric alarm. In these situations, a photoelectric alarm will alert the occupants and allow a safe exit about 96% of the time. Ionization alarms will give sufficient warning less than 40% of the time, meaning that 60% of the time someone may die!


A slow response time isn't the only problem with an ionization alarm. Nuisance tripping can occur when cooking, showering, etc. Many times, people become frustrated and intentionally disable the detectors, leaving their household completely unprotected. Approximately two-thirds of all residential fire deaths occur in homes that are unprotected. Ionization alarms account for over 85% of disabled alarms. Most of the remaining fire deaths occur when a smoke alarm sounds too late for the occupants to escape.




Significant research going back to the mid-1970's clearly shows ionization alarms are slow to react to smoldering fires. I
t has taken decades, but there is finally a growing public awareness of this problem. The International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) recently took a stand, and now recommends that only photoelectric smoke alarms be installed. 


Which Ones Do You Have?


If your alarm has a “Hush” feature, it is probably an ionization unit. If the label mentions radioactive material, Americium-241, or if there is an "I" in
the model number- it is probably an ionization alarm. If there is any doubt, play it safe and replace the units with photoelectric alarms.








What About Combination Smoke/CO Alarms?


Combination photoelectric/carbon monoxide (CO) alarms are available. Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years. CO detectors should be replaced every 5 to 7 years. With a combination unit, you are either replacing the smoke alarm too soon, or relying on a CO detector that is past its expiration date. Separate units make more sense. Photoelectric alarms provide the best protection in real-world fires. This year, don't just replace your smoke alarm batteries – replace your alarms with photoelectric units and recommend that your families, friends, and neighbors all do the same!


Steve Stenros- First Choice Inspections, a CREIA MCI and ICC certified inspector provides home inspections in San Diego, Orange, and Riverside counties in southern California. Clients receive a FREE lifetime appliance RecallChek with every standard inspection. Steve can be reached for appointment at 888-335-3040. If You Have These Smoke Alarms, Get Rid Of Them!

 

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Re-Blogged 8 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Chuck Carstensen 08/03/2011 05:24 PM
  2. Jon Quist 08/03/2011 05:31 PM
  3. Pamela Seley 08/03/2011 07:16 PM
  4. Pamela Seley 08/03/2011 07:17 PM
  5. Jeremy Wrenn 08/06/2011 05:18 AM
  6. Dan Edward Phillips 08/08/2011 04:39 AM
  7. Dan Edward Phillips 08/08/2011 10:39 AM
  8. Gene Riemenschneider 08/13/2011 05:50 PM
  9. Dawn P Faulkner 09/02/2011 10:02 AM
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Rainer
73,111
David Companik
Keller Williams Realty - The Woodlands - The Woodlands, TX
Realtor ▪ The WoodlandsTX ▪ davidcompanik.com

Are the photoelectric alarms clearly identified as such on their packaging? That'd certainly make it easier to choose at the store!

Thanks again for another great post!

Aug 10, 2011 02:24 PM #30
Rainmaker
137,399
Steve Stenros
Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula - San Diego, CA
CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego

Absolutely, David! Thank you.

Aug 10, 2011 05:28 PM #31
Rainmaker
1,427,988
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

I hope you don't mind me reposting this.  I am going to do this one and one more. 

Aug 13, 2011 05:49 PM #32
Rainmaker
137,399
Steve Stenros
Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula - San Diego, CA
CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego

Not at all, Gene. I am always happy to have my posts re-blogged. That means it was worth passing on! Thank you!

Aug 13, 2011 05:54 PM #33
Rainer
37,854
William (Bill) Zoller
U.S. Inspect, LLC - Loveland, CO

This is a great post!  I did not know this but will be actively looking for these now on my home inspections.  Thank you for sharing!

Aug 15, 2011 03:39 AM #34
Rainmaker
137,399
Steve Stenros
Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula - San Diego, CA
CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego

William: I don't list the ion detectors as a defect during an inspection because they have been approved. However, I make my clients aware of the differences between the two types and recommend they switch to the photoelectric detectors.

Aug 15, 2011 02:14 PM #35
Rainer
68,196
Georgia Elite Realty
Georgia Elite Realty - Kennesaw, GA

Thank you for the great information! I'll check mine asap.

Aug 17, 2011 03:55 AM #36
Rainmaker
137,399
Steve Stenros
Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula - San Diego, CA
CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego

Georgia: Glad I could help! Thanks for the comment.

Aug 17, 2011 05:46 PM #37
Rainmaker
231,666
Reuben Saltzman
Structure Tech Home Inspections - Minneapolis, MN
Minneapolis Home Inspections

Excellent info Steve, thanks.  I didn't know about this.  I think I know what my weekend project is going to be.

Aug 23, 2011 02:56 PM #38
Rainer
48,923
Dawn P Faulkner
Dawn Realtors - Atlanta, GA
in ATLANTA,GA

This is a great thing to point out to clients when purchasing a new home! Is there a significant price difference between the units that may make people want to pick the wrong one without knowing the difference?

Sep 02, 2011 10:01 AM #39
Rainmaker
137,399
Steve Stenros
Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula - San Diego, CA
CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego

Rueben: That's something to look forward to! Have fun.

Sep 02, 2011 11:13 AM #40
Rainmaker
137,399
Steve Stenros
Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula - San Diego, CA
CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego

Dawn: There really isn't that great of a price difference! They usually sit side by side on the shelf. People don't know the difference, so they just pick one!

Sep 02, 2011 11:15 AM #41
Anonymous
David

You get very useful info from blogs,sometimes.Thanks.

Dec 22, 2011 02:24 PM #42
Rainmaker
137,399
Steve Stenros
Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula - San Diego, CA
CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego

Glad it was useful for you, David!

Dec 22, 2011 02:33 PM #43
Anonymous
petercameroon

I have veray Blogs       However, nearly 100% of residential fire fatalities are from smoke inhalation and not from the actual fire.


<a href="http://www.alliedprotection.co.uk/">Fire alarm servicing</a>

Mar 27, 2012 08:06 PM #44
Anonymous
William Streeter

I have wired smoke smoke alarms. They go off for no apparent reason. I am at my wits end. Can you help me understand why.

Jan 17, 2015 01:21 AM #45
Rainmaker
137,399
Steve Stenros
Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula - San Diego, CA
CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego

William: How old are your smoke alarms? If they are more than ten years old, they are at the end of their useful life and should be replaced (with photo-electric type) anyhow. It's hard to say why they may be sounding off. It could either be alarm failure or a wiring issue...

Jan 17, 2015 02:37 AM #46
Rainmaker
1,215,533
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • Green • GRI • HAFA • PSC Los Angeles CA

The NFPA recommends having one alarm on each level of your home, inside each bedroom and outside each sleeping area.

Oct 25, 2017 12:28 PM #47
Anonymous
leanne

omg need help my smoke alarm keep going off when no smoke is there goes off when im out the house too getting phone calls from my neighbour about them or getting woke up at 5.30 am with them going off

Dec 05, 2017 02:46 PM #48
Rainmaker
137,399
Steve Stenros
Poway,La Jolla,Del Mar,Mira Mesa,Carlsbad,Escondido,Temecula - San Diego, CA
CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego

You probably need to replace them, Leanne. They are only good for 10 years... Suggest replacement with photo-electric type!

Dec 05, 2017 02:50 PM #49
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Rainmaker
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Steve Stenros

CREIA MCI, ICC, ACI Home Inspector,San Diego
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