Expert Tips on Choosing the Best Smoke Detector for Your Needs

Choosing the Best Smoke Detector for Your Needs
A smoke detector could very well save your life, so having the best one fitted in your home or office is something that is non-negotiable. Here are some tips on how to go about choosing the best one for yourself.
HomeQuicks Staff
Last Updated: Mar 26, 2018
Francis Robbins Upton, an associate of Thomas Edison, invented the first automatic electric fire alarm in 1890.
According to the National Fire Protection Agency, smoke detectors in a home may double the chances of surviving a fire. Once the fire starts, you might have as little as two minutes to evacuate your home before you are trapped inside. Therefore, a smoke detector is one of the most valuable things you can have in your home for the safety and well-being of your family. Knowing that it is so important, you would want to choose the best one for your needs, but not very many people know how to choose smoke alarms. Here is the help you need.
The Right Kind
Smoke detector types
There are many different kinds of smoke detectors available in the market, and each has a specific purpose. Photoelectric alarms use beams of light to detect visible smoke particles as they enter the alarm. These alarms are the most expensive ones, but are harder to trigger on accident. If you've ever been cooking in the kitchen and have set off your smoke alarm with the smoke from your pan, this might be the one for you. Ionization alarms use a chemical to detect smoke particles. These are better at detecting fires quickly, but can be set off by accident more easily. If you're not bothered by turning your alarm off when cooking a smokey dish, this might be the best choice. There are detectors that combine both photoelectric and ionization technologies, which are great options, but are very expensive.
Is There a UL label?
Ul label
UL stands for Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. They test their products thoroughly before releasing them, and do subsequent tests after the products are in the market. When the product has a UL label, it means that the smoke detector has been tested, and will continue to be tested to provide you and your family with the safety you want and deserve.
Power Mechanism
Smoke detector mechanism
Some smoke detectors are powered by batteries. This isn't a bad option, but you would have to replace the batteries frequently. The detectors emit a loud beeping noise when the batteries are running down, so you would be able to know when to replace them. However, you run the risk of the batteries running out at any hour during the night, which means you would either have to replace the batteries or disable the alarm to get some sleep. You can find more expensive detectors that have lithium batteries, which can last up to 10 years. Some also have a battery backup, but can be wired directly into the electric current in your home.
Special Needs
If you or someone you live with is deaf or has a hearing impairment, you may want to consider smoke detectors that have some sort of visual alarm, like a bright flashing light. Also, there are plenty of alarms available which work on both, sound and visual technology.
Test the Detector
Test the detector
You should test the smoke detector every month. Your smoke detector, therefore, should have a button on it that allows you to conveniently test it, so as to ensure it is working properly. Some detectors―again, the more expensive ones, can be tested via remote control. This is a great option for someone who cannot climb a ladder. Whatever the method, the ability to test the device should always be there. The last thing anyone needs is a device that is non-functional at the very time it is needed.
Desired Location
Installing smoke detector
Smoke detectors can come as part of a network that are linked together or can be installed in each room separately. Networked smoke alarms are great, because, if there is a fire in one room, all the detectors get activated throughout the house, giving everyone a chance to be alerted, and rectify the problem or escape. Regardless of how they are installed, consider your needs for each specific room. You may need a visual alarm in only one bedroom, or you may want a less sensitive alarm in the kitchen where you cook, but a more sensitive one in the living room. When you consider each room separately, you would easily be able to make the best selection as per your needs.

Keeping these aspects in mind, take stock and make an informed purchase of a quality product for your residence or organization.