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Home Fire Alarm Systems: What You Should Know

A lot of people, unfortunately, do not have home fire alarm systems installed in their houses. They assume that they can smell smoke while they are asleep and wake up just in the nick of time to escape in case of a fire. This is not true at all. Researches have been done, and it has been proven that, yes, our sleep can be disrupted by noise, but NOT with a smell. Our sense of smell goes on hiatus when we are asleep, and it couldn’t wake us up no matter how intense the smell of smoke is unless of course, the panic of your household or the heat that comes with a fire emergency does.

Many people don’t take home fire alarm systems seriously, and a lot more do not test or check their alarms regularly. The one thing that can keep you safe and alert you, your family, and colleagues from a fire emergency is the loud sound of a well-installed and maintained fire alarm system.

How Does A Home Fire Alarm Work?

A home fire alarm system alerts you when you are busy, sleeping, or working—usually the times when you are almost oblivious to your environment. You can thus take action before major damage happens, therefore saving your life and money. More than 50% of house fires happen in homes that don’t have fire alarms installed, and mostly at night, resulting in many pointless deaths and injuries.

What If I Already Have a Home Fire Alarm System?

If you do have a home fire alarm system installed in your home, then congratulations! That is a great move to ensure the safety of your home and family. However, electronic devices are not always infallible. Batteries die, and other parts of the detector can malfunction over time. Testing and maintaining them regularly, like replacing batteries (or the whole device), is one of the ways to help ensure your family’s safety in case of a fire breakout.

Are home fire alarm systems the same with smoke detectors?

fire detector detecting fire

Basically, a smoke detector is a mechanical device that senses and alerts you when there is smoke around. So technically, if there is combustion happening, whether it’s smoke arising from the oven, a forgotten pot of porridge on the stove, or the cigarette butt that managed to light the drapes on fire, the smoke detector will be triggered and activated. Once this happens, it sets off an alarm so that everybody could get out of the building, or, if the flames are still low enough, to use a fire extinguisher or a thick duvet to put them out.

Regarding how the alarm is sounded, it may be prompted by the smoke detector itself or the detector may transmit the signal to a connected fire alarm. Once triggered, the fire alarm will set off a high-pitched siren or flash warning lights for people with hearing impairments.

A fire alarm, on the other hand, is triggered by the smoke detector to alert residents of a potential fire. The smoke detector will pick up the smoke, and may or may not make noise when after it does. A fire alarm going off for no other reason could potentially mean its battery is already low and it’s probably a wise idea to test it.

Which Should You Choose?

home fire alarm being set up

Smoke detectors are typically seen in smaller homes while fire alarms are used in larger offices and buildings. If you have a luxury home, it is highly recommended that you install a working fire alarm. Hence, if there is a fire in one wing of your home, the central alarm will alert everyone, instead of just one section of the house. It is likewise crucial to ensure that the fire alarm is appropriately connected to all of the smoke detectors in your home.

About 2/3 of deaths and injuries from fires were caused because the owners either did not have a fire alert system or because their system was not in working condition. Smoke detectors have to be installed in the major areas of your home, including one in each of the bedrooms.

Moreover, keep in mind that fire alarms that are over ten years old should likely be looked at by a professional, particularly if the home is on a connected system. It also helps to have a professional come over to check that not only is everything working as they should but that it will continue to work without fail as the years go by.