Expert Electric Blog

Smoke Alarm Safety

Most people are familiar with smoke alarms or detectors as they are requirements in all commercial and residential buildings. But how do they work? And how do you ensure that they are functioning at their top performance?  If properly maintained, smoke alarms can and have been proven to save millions of lives in the case of a fire.

In general, there are two different types of smoke alarms.

  • Ionization
  • Photoelectric

Ionization means that the device is equipped with two plates that create a charge. When smoke passes between these plates, the charge is interrupted and forces the alarm to sound. In contrast, a photoelectric smoke detection system works similarly but is equipped with a light beam. When smoke passes in front of the light, the alarm sounds. Each function is beneficial in different instances and because of this, one is not necessarily better than the other. It is, however, recommended to have one of each of these functions on each floor of your home and in high-risk areas such as the kitchen or near fireplaces or heating appliances.

To ensure your family’s safety, it is recommended to check your smoke alarm once a month. In order to do so, you can simply push the test button on the smoke alarm. If it does not sound the alarm, you should check the battery and replace it immediately. You could also light a match near the smoke alarm to ensure that it is functioning at top performance.

For more tips and assistance with your smoke alarm maintenance, contact one of our electricians at Expert Electric – 604.681.8338.