Everything you need to know about smoke detectors

Asha Bogenfuerst Asha Bogenfuerst
Smoke Art Steve Purnell Corridor, hallway & stairsAccessories & decoration
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Choosing the right smoke detector for your home can be difficult if you don't know enough about smoke detectors. This is because there are various types of smoke detectors, and they all come with their own unique features. We will briefly discuss the basics of smoke detectors here. This idea guide also features tips such as where and how many smoke detectors to install in your house. 

Smoke detectors are a life-saving invention that cost very little for all the priceless lives and the fire damage costs it has saved. In many countries, it is compulsory to install smoke detectors, by law, in homes as well as public buildings. Here is everything you need to know about smoke detectors…

Smoke detector basics

Essentially, there are two types of smoke detectors—there are ones that work based on ionization and others that work based on photoelectric. Ionization smoke detectors usually can detect a fire a bit faster when the fire is the flaming type. On the other hand, photoelectric smoke detectors are quicker at responding to smoldering fires that burn quickly. 

Smoke detectors usually either run on batteries or are powered by electricity. It's a good idea to have both batteries and electricity as an option for times when the power goes out. 

One good tip is to choose a smoke detector with a pause button, so you can temporarily silence the the sound of the alarm in case it goes off on a false alarm. This way you don't need to switch off the electricity or take out the battery, which you should avoid doing, unless you are changing it. 

Where to install smoke detectors?

Revoke Smoke, Invoke Oak Arthouse Gallery ArtworkOther artistic objects
Arthouse Gallery

Revoke Smoke, Invoke Oak

Arthouse Gallery

Smoke detectors should be installed in every floor of your home, including the outside sleeping areas especially as you're less likely to notice smoke when you're in an open area outside. The best place to install the smoke detectors is the ceiling as hot air and smoke tends to rise. If it's not possible to install it on the ceiling, then install it high up on the wall instead. 

So now that you know where to put smoke detectors, you should also know where not to put them. Don't put them too close to bathrooms or any heating and cooking appliances. 

Smoke detector maintenance

The Smoke Warrior Returns 2 Steve Purnell Corridor, hallway & stairsAccessories & decoration
Steve Purnell

The Smoke Warrior Returns 2

Steve Purnell

The most important thing to do monthly is to check if your smoke detectors are still working. You can do this by pressing the 'test' button. If changing the battery doesn't work, we're afraid there's nothing much you can do except to install new smoke detectors. Smoke detectors should be replaced every ten years.The batteries should be changed every year, or whenever the sign indicates that it's low on battery. 

Smoke detector parts

Architect Resin London Smoke 60x60 Amb Living Emilceramica Group
Emilceramica Group

Architect Resin London Smoke 60x60 Amb Living

Emilceramica Group

All smoke detectors consist of two basic parts—a sensor to detect the smoke, and an alarm bell to alert inhabitants of the house of a potential fire. Smoke detectors can run off a 9 volt battery or 120 volt of house electricity. 

If you find you find yourself distracted by the image of this striking minimalist industrial design living room, then browse through some living room designs here on homify for more inspiration and ideas. 

How many smoke detectors to install?

Smoke detectors should be installed in every bedroom in the house. This is because the carbon monoxide released during the fire will suck out all the oxygen, causing you to lose consciousness even more as you sleep. Smoke alarms should also be installed in the kitchen, as many fires start from there. However, be careful not to install them too close to any heating or cooking appliances. So, that means a double storey house with three bedrooms would need a minimum of five smoke detectors in the house in total.

The rustic bedroom pictured here is designed by Home Staging Factory, interior architects based in Lisboa, Portugal. 

Other tips

Many house fires start in the kitchen, so be wary of this fact when you're in the kitchen and be very mindful when you know you have the stove on. Make it a habit to set an alarm if you have to leave the kitchen for any reason. 

Keep candles, matches and lighters away from children, and be mindful when you light candles. Avoid putting candles near curtains or anything that might catch fire easily. 

We hope you have managed to gather some useful information about smoke detectors through this idea guide. For more inspiration and ideas, have a look at Plastic fantastic! Making your garden furniture sparkle.

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