Do you think you can evacuate your home in two minutes in case there is a fire? The other alternative you have is to install a fire alarm in your home. A good fire alarm can help you survive the fire by detecting it instantly. Nevertheless, there are many things you need to consider if you want to pick the best fire alarm:
#1. Explore your options
You will find an entire range of fire alarms and smoke detectors with different strengths and weaknesses. For instance, there is the ionization alarm that ionizes the air within the smoke alarm and sets up an electric current. It can detect even the tiniest smoke particles in fire that tend to ignite quickly. There are also photoelectric alarms that use strobe light to detect larger smoke particles that enter the chamber. There are dual sensors and air-sampling smoke detectors too. You can also select a combination alarm based on your requirements.
#2. Consider the power capacity of the smoke detector
Most of the smoke detectors that are available run on AA or AAA batteries of 9 volts that need to be changed periodically. If you are looking for a long-term option you will have to choose one with a lithium battery. You can also get one of these wired into your household current. But make sure it has a backup battery.
#3. Select according to the size of your house
The size of your house plays a very important role when it comes to selecting a fire alarm. If you have a huge house you might have to install a fire alarm in each room of your house. Don’t forget to install one in every hallway too. Also make sure you wire together all the individual smoke detectors so that all of them sound when one detects smoke.
#4. Check out the “UL” label
A smoke detector with a “UL” label is one which has its prototypes certified and tested by UL or Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. There are also others with labels such as TUV, CSA, and FM. Make sure you buy standardized and branded products that ensure quality. ABA is one of the brands most people prefer when it comes to fire alarms.
#5. Consider maintenance
If you want to stop your smoke detector from triggering false alarm, you will have to vacuum it once a month and remove the dirt blocking its sensors. If you have a fire alarm with a hinged or a removable cover, it becomes easier to vacuum. In case you are buying one with replaceable batteries, make sure it is easy to insert new batteries.
#6. Explore the convenience of operating
There are many fire alarms that can’t be turned off without disabling the unit. If you buy one of these, you will have to take out the batteries when it triggers a false alarm. Find out how tough it is to turn off the alarm if something like this should happen. You can also go for one with a “hush” feature that will silence the alarm until you look for the source.
Most of the fire alarms come with a test button that will help you verify its ability. If you don’t want to climb on to a ladder to test the alarm, make sure you choose one that can be operated through a remote control.