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

Reblogger Jon Quist

I'm doing a re blog on this because my house has four of these alarms. What that means is that hundreds of homes in my neighborhood also have them.

By doing a re blog this will wind up warning just that many more people. Wow.

Incredible tip. Thank you so much.

Off to the store to get new ones!

Original content by Steve Stenros

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!



             Steve Stenros, MCI         Biz card photo

             Master CREIA Inspector

             Certified Infrared Thermographer

             FHA/HUD Inspector- #V975

                                       203k Consultant



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Pamela Seley
West Coast Realty Division - Murrieta, CA
Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA

Jon, thanks for the reblog! I had no idea! 

Aug 03, 2011 06:22 PM #1
CA COASTAL ESTATES Lauren Selinsky Perez CRS
California Coastal Estates - Aliso Viejo, CA
"Your Real Estate Broker" #oclauren

good to know........ ;) i also, wrote on a blog on alarms too...


Aug 03, 2011 06:58 PM #2
MichelleCherie Carr Crowe Just Call...408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

Jon, that is useful info to know.

P.S. Good job at spreading the good news about real estate, Jon!

Aug 04, 2011 07:42 PM #3
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Vision Quest Realty - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Jon, now my husband will have to check all six of ours. thanks for reblogging this one!

Aug 13, 2011 02:29 AM #4
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives


This is a topic I take very seriously. My second experience with a fire occured in the 1970's at a hotel and I had to escape out of a window. It was because the hotel had the type of alarm back then, that saved my life, I wrote a letter to President Jimmie Carter who replied back and thanked me personally for writing him. In that letter, he told me he was forwarding my letter on to someone in the Senate, Congressman, House of Representatives... someone like that and that he was personally going to see to it that changes were made to protect people and save them in case of a fire.

He did follow through because laws were implemented to enforce that all apartment buildings needed to have fire alarms and then it kept evolving into safety for all.

I wish I still had the letter, but as I said, in the beginning, that was my second fire and I was in several fires after that one. It was my house fire in 1994 that burned up that letter that I received from President Jimmie Carter, but I'm thankful he answered me personally and made sure the laws were changed.

I am very glad to know that things are still improving. This is a great post and one I happy to know many people have been saved because of smarter and better fire and smoke detectors.

Thanks for the Re-Blog. Steve is awesome. You are great!

Aug 13, 2011 11:18 AM #5
Ann Hayden 636-399-7544
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties-St. Louis Missouri - Chesterfield, MO


Okay, now I have to find a ladder so I can get the alarm down and read it...

Thank you,

Ann Hayden in Wildwood, MO

Aug 31, 2011 02:33 AM #6
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Jon Quist

Tucson's BUYERS ONLY Realtor since 1996
Moving to Tucson? Call me.
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