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Latest Trends & Tips

Latest Trends & Tips

Why Are Working Smoke Alarms So Important?


In 2016, half of the home-fire deaths occurred between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., although only 1 in 5 fires were reported during these hours. That means that 20% of fires are responsible for 50% of fire-deaths.

The main reasons are obvious: these are the hours when people are most likely to be at home, rather than at work or at school; furthermore, it is nighttime and people are more likely to be asleep and unaware that a fire has broken out. But, more startling because preventable, is the fact that 60% of deaths from home-fires occur in homes without a smoke alarm, or without a working smoke alarm.   

Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in home fires in half.

In other words, if your home has working smoke alarms, the chances of surviving a fire double.

Does your home have smoke alarms?  If so, are you sure they are working?  If they are working, are they photoelectric smoke detectors, or ionization?  Do you know the difference?

If you have a smoke detector but discover that it is not working, chances are that the batteries need to be changed.  The U.S. Fire Administration recommends you

  1. Change the batteries once a year (when you change the clocks, for example),
  2. Test your smoke detectors once a month by pressing the “test” button,
  3. Replace smoke detectors 10 years after the date of manufacture
  4. Have smoke detectors:
  • In every bedroom
  • Outside each separate sleeping area
  • On every level of the home, including the basement
  • Interconnected, so that when one sounds, they all sound

Ionization and photoelectric smoke detectors:

Although both are good at detecting fires, certain fires are better detected by one than by the other type.  Smoldering fires are better detected by the photoelectric type, while flaming, high-heat fires are better detected by the ionization type of smoke detector.  For best protection, get smoke detectors of each type. 

For example:

  • Many electric fires begin as low-heat, smoldering fires which might set off a photoelectric smoke alarm thirty or forty minutes before setting off an ionization-type alarm.
  • A high-heat, grease fire in the kitchen, on the other hand, might set off an ionization-type alarm a minute or more before a photoelectric alarm.
  • Some smoke detectors combine both technologies into one dual ionization/photoelectric detector.  

At Wholesale Home, we care about your family’s safety.  

That’s why we carry a full line of smoke detectors, both photoelectric and ionization, including some of the top-rated smoke detectors available.

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