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Top 9 Home Fire Alarm FAQs of 2020

Jun 14, 2020
Top 9 Home Fire Alarm FAQs of 2020

According to the Department of Housing in Ireland, deaths from fires in 2017 were twice the amount of the previous year. At the same time, a Fatalities for Fire report indicated that smoke detectors were absent in more than 50% of homes where a fatal fire occurred. It goes without saying that fire alarms can help to save lives. But there may be misconceptions and misunderstandings preventing more people from installing them. In this article, we will look at some of the frequently asked questions relating to home fire alarms in 2020.

1. Can fire alarms damage hearing?

Most fire alarms will emit sound signals between 65 and 120 decibels. Sounds at a level of 85 decibels or more can lead to hearing damage, so the short answer is YES. However, the risk of hearing damage from a fire alarm is related to the length of time someone is exposed to it. Considering that the alarm forces people to move away, the chance of hearing damage is minimal at best.

2. Can fire alarms detect steam?

The smoke detectors in a fire alarm system often cannot tell the difference between smoke and steam. This can be annoying. Therefore, careful planning is needed for fire alarm installation to ensure they are not placed immediately next to the bathroom or cooking equipment in the kitchen.

3. What fire alarm should I get?

There are several types of fire alarms suitable for different applications:

  • Ionization alarm: This type of alarm goes off when smoke interrupts current flow in the device. Their high sensitivity to smoke/steam makes them best suited for bedrooms or other large spaces in the home.
  • Optical alarms: This alarm uses infrared technology to detect smoke. They are commonly used in most areas of the house, but are often too sensitive for kitchens.
  • Heat alarms: These do not detect smoke. Instead, they measure air temperature. The alarm is triggered if the temperature exceeds a set limit. This type of alarm is best suited for cooking areas as they are not prone to false alarms from steam.
  • Battery-operated alarms: Most smoke alarms fall in this category. The battery usually needs replacing anywhere from one to 10 years.
  • Main supply alarm: These are connected directly to the electricity supply in the home and must be installed by a certified electrician. They are also fitted with a backup battery that allows them to function when the power goes out.

4. When fire alarm keeps beeping?

If there is no smoke or fire, a beeping fire alarm usually means the battery needs changing. The device comes with a reset button that can be pressed to stop the beeping sound until you change the battery.

5. When fire alarm goes off?

The first thing to do when a fire alarm goes off is to check if there is an actual fire and alert other occupants of your home by shouting “FIRE!” Call the fire department. If you know how to operate a fire extinguisher, you may attempt to put out the fire. If there is no fire, you can reset the device to turn off the alarm.

6. Where should fire alarms be placed?

Your fire alarm system should be designed to allow strategic placement of smoke detectors. Place detectors on every level if you have a multi-storey house, and inside (or just outside) each room. For kitchens and bathrooms, smoke detectors should be placed at least 10 feet away from heat sources to prevent false alarms.

7. Who installs fire alarms?

Fire alarm installation is best planned by a trained electrician or fire security professional if being done for the first time. However, it is possible for homeowners to replace units in an already existing system.

8. Will a fire alarm turn off by itself?

When set off, whether due to an actual fire or false alert, a fire alarm will usually need to be reset before it turns off. Depending on your type of system, this may require resetting the main terminal or turning off each alarm. As such, it is important to have an expert plan your fire alarm installation to best suit your needs.

9. Will an electronic cigarette trigger a fire alarm?

While there is a slim possibility, it is unlikely that an e-cigarette will set off your smoke alarm because these devices give off vapor rather than smoke.

Need help with fire alarm installation? You can reach out to the team at Power Right, who can help with choosing the best system for your home.

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