How to Choose the Best Smoke Detector for Your Home

The right smoke detector can not only save your home, but it can also save your life. For homeowners that have already dealt with a fire emergency, the awareness of the need for a smoke detector that is going to keep their family safe is all too real. But it can be hard to decide which is the best smoke detector for your needs. How do you decide whether the smoke detector you already have is good enough? If it’s not, how do you decide which one is best for you? This short post will lay out the differences between the different types of smoke detectors and help you make an informed decision.  

How Does a Smoke Detector Work?

It is helpful to learn what a smoke detector does before you start to look for the right detector for your home. Smoke detectors work on a very simple principle. An infrared beam, or eye, is present in the detector and when smoke obstructs it the alarm sounds. The beam or eye is on the interior of the alarm so things like hands and other items are not going to set off the alarm. Having the right number of smoke detectors in your home can help you to prevent an emergency that ends in tragedy.  

Basic Smoke Detector

For those homes that are smaller, a typical or basic smoke detector may be all that you need. Basic smoke detectors are great for those homes that may already have other smoke detectors or those homes that are not able to have wired systems or other types of smoke detectors. Basic detectors are just going to detect smoke. They are not going to have lights or other indicators on them and they are not going to detect things like carbon dioxide and other gasses. In most cases, a smoke alarm is required for every 500 square feet of your home. A 1,000 square foot home would then need 2 detectors while a 2,000 square foot home would require 4. It is suggested that the maximum distance between two detectors be no greater than 21 feet as the basic radius of a smoke detector is around 30 feet.  

Advanced Detectors/ Hardwired Detectors.

There are also smoke detectors that can detect things like carbon dioxide, that have flashing lights and alarms, that have other extras, and that can help keep your home safe all around. There are also detectors that are hard-wired to your security system. These are detectors that are included in your security system that are connected to your home and that will alert the security company if they alarm. These are great for large homes, if you live alone, or if you are away often and may need a security company to help keep your home safe. You can generally tell if you have a hardwired system by removing the detector and looking at the base. Those that are not hardwired to the home are going to simply have a bracket that affixes it to the wall. Hardwired systems are just that, they are wired to the home and when removing them from their bracket, you can see the wiring coming out of the wall.  

Upgrading Your Detectors

Upgrading to a hardwired system is going to cost a bit more money but in the long run, they are beneficial if you are a very deep sleeper for instance or if you have a hard time hearing or seeing. Hardwired systems will alert the authorities even if you are not aware that the alarm is sounding. A great way to determine if you want to upgrade is to really look at what each type of detector does and what you want from your smoke detectors. Also, talking with your local fire department is a great way to learn about fire safety and what might work best for your home. It is suggested that if you live in an area that observes daylight savings time to change batteries in the fall and spring. Your smoke detector can help save your home and your life, make sure you have the right one. Even though Zona Restoration can help you restore your home after there’s been an accident, taking the right precautions can help keep your family safe.   Are smoke detectors more expensive than you thought? Or did you decide to wait a bit to change yours? Check out this article to see what actions you can take right now to prevent fire accidents!