Which Type Of Smoke Alarm Is Best?

We recommend replacing your smoke detectors every 10 years with the 10 year lithium ion smoke/CO detector.  Because they do not require a hard-wire connection they can be placed anywhere and they do not have the annoying low battery chirps that require frequent battery changing.

Hard-wired only smoke detectors (older type)

Older hard-wired only smoke detectors will only function when there is power- that is a serious draw-back and fire events can cause disruption of power before engulfing homes.

Hard-wired with battery back-up smoke detectors (recent)

The hard-wired with battery back-up smoke detectors should function whether or not there is power.  The problem with these detectors is that 30% of them in our country our disabled because they were disconnected or the batteries failed.  The chirping and the frequent battery changing is a nuisance with this type.

10 year Lithium Ion Battery Smoke Detector

The latest type of smoke detector can be placed anywhere, tamper resistant, and should not chirp or require battery-changing for 10 years.  This detector is the most expensive but will save money and may save lives over the long-term.

Photo-electric or Ionization?

According to the USFA:

he USFA provides the following guidance to the public and to state and local legislative bodies that may be grappling with the issue of the proper type of smoke alarm to select for use in a residence:

  • We cannot state that one type of alarm is better than another because every fire is different.
  • Because both ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms are better at detecting distinctly different yet potentially fatal fires, and because no one can predict what type of fire might start in a home, the USFA recommends that every home and place where people sleep be equipped with either (a) both ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms, or (b) dual sensor smoke alarms (which contain both ionization and photoelectric smoke sensors).
  • The location of a smoke alarm within a home may be more important than the type of smoke alarm present, depending on the location of a fire. The USFA recommends that users follow the manufacturer’s guidance on the recommended location of smoke alarms in a home.
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