Showing posts with label smoke alarm. Show all posts
Showing posts with label smoke alarm. Show all posts

Monday, November 6, 2017

Why are photoelectric smoke alarms better than ionization detectors?

There's no denying the fact that ionization smoke detectors and smoke alarms are a whole lot cheaper than their photoelectric counterparts. At the same time, it's also a fact that money's is suddenly a non-issue when someone's about to die in a raging house fire. The bottom line is "Do not skimp because of money as your life or that of a loved one may very well depend on it."

The difference in performance between the two detectors is simply this: Where a ionization smoke alarm works best in a raging fire in a commercial environment where the smoke particulates (particles) are relatively small, the photoelectric smoke alarm works better in a residential setting where the smoke particles are relatively big. This kind of fire is usually found in a home where there are carpets, draperies, bed spreads, couches, chairs, tables, clothes, and other household items.

The difference between the two technologies is as different as night is to day. Photoelectric smoke alarms rely on a smoke chamber and the reflective properties of a large diameter smoke particle. A photoelectric emitter at one end of a narrow passage leads to a dead end. A passage that intersects the first at an angle contains a photo receptor capable of receiving light when the same is reflected from smoke particles that enter the chamber.

Because of the nature of the design, it takes a relatively large smoke particle to reflect enough light to the end of the photo receptor passage, thus triggering an alarm. When there's no smoke, the light merely ends within the first passage where there is no photo receptor present. This result in no alarm (see drawing). The design of these detectors is deliberate because residential dwellings contain the kinds of combustibles that create such a large particulate of smoke. This is why the photoelectric smoke alarm is the best type of detector to use in this type of setting.

The other issue that you need to know about is that of fire code, which says, "Unless otherwise recommended by the manufacturer's published instructions, single-and multiple-station smoke alarms installed in one- and two-family dwellings shall be replaced when they fail to respond to operability tests but shall not remain in service longer than 10 years from the date of manuufacturer0 (Section of the NFPA 72®, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, National Fire Protection Organization, Quincy, MA). For additional information on this subject, read NFPA's final word on the topic here:

If you're unsure of the age of your smoke alarms, decide on the side of safety by replacing them now. For more information, send a comment to John Larkin or call the office at 614-754-1393.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Family saved from house blaze by smoke alarms

A Winchester family had a lucky escape when their property caught fire in the wee-early hours of the morning in mid September of this year. The fire chief this morning said that without a doubt a working smoke alarm and a good escape plan saved the family from serious injury and the property from being extensively damaged (
“Smoke alarms use batteries, and we all know that batteries always die at the most inopportune times, sometimes without a whimper. Smoke detectors, however, are part of a larger fire alarm system that provides almost unending power, whether your electric is out or not,” says John Larkin, Senior ESC Partner.
With a monitored, quality ESC fire alarm system in your home or office, you have the assurance that help is on the way if a fire should break out. Our systems meet all NFPA and local regulations, which means that the equipment used meets all current standards.
Our central station is next to none and our installers and technicians are factory trained and state certified.

"Let us prove to you just how valuable ESC can be to your organization!" says Larkin.

Contact ESC for more information by calling us at 614-754-1393 or use the convenient contact form below or on the right side of this page. You also can click on any one of the "Get a Quote" buttons and you'll be contacted by an ESC professional within 24 working hours. If you already have a fire alarm system and you need service, please click on a "Set Appointment" button and we'll be there when and where you need us.

Remember, the lives you save may be that of your own, a family member, or someone key to the success of your own organization.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Replace Your Home Smoke Alarms Every 10 Years

image of Jim Willisms installing a smoke detectorHome smoke alarms, also called single- and multiple-station smoke alarms, should be, by National Fire Code (NFC), replaced every 10 years.

“According to NFPA, aging smoke alarms don't operate as efficiently and often are the source for nuisance alarms. Older smoke alarms are estimated to have a 30% probability of failure within the first 10 years. Newer smoke alarms do better, but should be replaced after 10 years. Unless you know that the smoke alarms are new, replacing them when moving into a new residence is also recommended by NFPA” (NFPA urges replacing home smoke alarms after 10, National Fire Prevention Association, Quincy, Mass.)

The important point to know is which type of sensor fits the definitions set forth in NFPA 72, NFC, assembled by the consensus of fire professionals and experts and published by NFPA. For example, a single-station smoke alarm, whether used in stand-alone or multi-mode format, is that of the common, ordinary battery-operated detector found in most homes. This includes the 120VAC detector that often comes with a 9-V backup battery. In many locales, for good or bad, the latter has become the detector of choice among code enforcement officials, although recent changes in the NFC allows the use of smoke detectors (read on)’

Photo Caption: This is a combination fire/burglar alarm panel with a supervised power supply in the top panel.

In contrast, the other type of smoke detection device that fire technicians commonly work with is the smoke detector, which connects to a fire alarm system in the home or business. This type of detector derives its operating power from an approved and listed power supply, usually part of a compliant fire alarm control panel. Thus, a smoke detector is able to report alarms and possible trouble conditions to a central monitoring station, as well as locally in the home by sounders placed throughout.

The reason why smoke alarms must be replaced every 10 years primarily relates to the fact that residential smoke alarms are rarely inspected and cared for in the same manner as smoke detectors. In addition, there are safeguards built into a fire alarm system that are designed to detect sensitivity and operational issues that smoke alarms cannot perform in a proactive manner.

If you should have questions pertaining to the smoke alarms in your home and you need the advice of a professional, ESC stands ready to assist you in any and every way possible. If you have a fire alarm system and you’re having issues, also feel free to call on ESC. We offer the finest in service and installation in the state of Ohio.

Give us an opportunity to prove ourselves to you by calling me today. Use our quick response form on the right or visit our Contact Page.

John Larkin, Senior Partner