Find the Best Battery Operated Smoke Detector for your Home, HERE!
I know what it’s like to watch your house burn to the ground. Fortunately for me and my family we were away from home when the fire started so nobody was injured.
But what if the fire started while we were all asleep? When your life is on the line you want the Best Battery Operated Smoke Detector your money can buy.
Our home was struck with lightning, but most house fires start in the kitchen from cooking or from a faulty electrical circuit. A fire in its early stages can smolder for hours before bursting into flames. That’s why it’s crucial to have a top rated smoke detector that is battery operated in case of electrical failure.
Where there’s Smoke there’s Fire-Right?
The old saying “where there’s smoke there’s fire” isn’t always true. Quite often smoke is the precursor to a fire. But most victims of home fires die from smoke inhalation rather from the fire itself.
The smoke created from smoldering insulation, plastic, and other common materials found in any home give off toxic and often deadly fumes. Early detection is vital to surviving a house fire. In many instances a potentially deadly fire can be extinguished before any serious damage occurs.
It only takes minutes for a smoldering fire to become a raging inferno!
NOTE: Be sure to read “Best Rechargeable LED Power Failure Night Light“
Flash fires can occur when a heat source ignites a volatile fuel such as gasoline, paint thinner, furniture padding, and many other items and materials typically found in the home.
When a flash fire begins it generates super-heated air that rises immediately to the ceiling. As the fire accelerates, that super-heated air descends downward igniting anything combustible. A Flash fire can reach a fatal intensity in a matter of minutes. That’s why the earliest possible detection is critical to survival.
How Do Smoke Detectors Work?
There are two different types of Smoke Detectors: Photoelectric and Ionization. Both have advantages and disadvantages you should be aware of before deciding which one is best for your home.
Photoelectric smoke detectors utilize a light-emitting diode that projects a beam of light across a chamber. On the opposite side of the chamber is a photoelectric cell.
When the photocell detects a pre-set amount of light it triggers the smoke alarm. Photoelectric detectors are designed to detect slow smoldering fires that produce smoke initially before flames. They are not effective at detecting flash fires.
Ionization smoke detectors have an ionization chamber that contains two plates and an ionizing radiation source. The source is a tiny amount of an isotope approx. 1/5000th of a gram in size. That’s less radiation than your phosphorescent glow-in-the-dark watch emits. (NOTE: Because of the tiny amount of Americium isotope, there is NO health hazard unless you tamper with the chamber and expose yourself, inhale or ingest the particles.)
The battery sends a constant electrical voltage to the two plates, charging one Positive and the other Negative. As the isotope decays at a steady rate it emits alpha particles creating a dance of ionization. When smoke enters the chamber it disrupts the little dance, lowering or stopping the current between the two plates triggering the alarm.
Drawbacks to Consider
Ionization smoke detectors have two drawbacks to consider: Old detectors require proper disposal to Proper disposal is necessary to eliminate any hazard. Also, because they are very sensitive, dust, steam or other vapors can cause a false alarm
Which Type of Smoke Detector Should I Buy?
So, which type of detector should you buy? The NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) recommends one alarm with both types of sensors, or one of each in recommended locations.
You will find both options in my Recommendations BELOW.
How Many Smoke Detectors Do I Need to be Safe?
The NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) recommends homes should have smoke alarms installed inside every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. So that means a 2 story, 3 bedroom house needs a minimum of five smoke alarms.
The NFPA recommends installing smoke detectors inside every bedroom and outside each sleeping area on every level of your home. This includes finished basements and attics.
When it comes to the safety of your family it’s not the time to economize. Most insurance companies offer discounts for homeowners who have smoke detectors. In fact most companies won’t write a policy unless you do have them in your home.
Item #1 is Dual Sensor. Items #2, 3, and 4 are Ionization. Items #5 – 9 are Photoelectric.
I have done the research and the battery operated smoke detectors recommended below represent the best available.