Many people believe that all smoke detectors are created equal. In many ways, they are, but it's not entirely true. Most smoke detectors do just that; they monitor for smoke in the home. But did you know that there is a lot more to keeping your home safe from fire than simply being alerted that there is smoke in your house? Today, we would like to talk about what to look for in a smoke detector, the differences in various types of smoke detectors, and how to keep you and your family safe by choosing the best smoke detector out there. Because if your smoke detector fails, you may have a defective products claim against the detector's manufacturer.
You may or may not have heard of "unmonitored smoke detectors." An unmonitored smoke detector is actually the full name of the type of smoke detector you have in your home right now. If you walk down the aisle of a Home Depot or Lowe's, you will see dozens of choices of unmonitored smoke detectors. Unmonitored smoke detectors can be hard-wired into your home, but most run on batteries. Some also have photoelectric detectors, which are special detectors that detect heat as well as smoke, and they are formidably more expensive that plain unmonitored smoke detectors.
There are two very important things to understand about unmonitored smoke detectors. First, the only way of alerting you that the batter is low is a piercing beeping noise. Unfortunately, studies have found that this doesn't always work and, what's more, many people are actually more apt to pull the detector off the wall or ceiling without changing the battery right away because of how annoying the detector beep can be. Secondly, as the name suggests, unmonitored smoke detectors are unmonitored. Basically, this means that they will alert whomever is in or around the house that there is smoke or a potential fire, but outside agencies, such as the fire department, police station, or security company will not be dispatched.
The major problem is that about 90% of American homes do not have unmonitored smoke detectors that detect both heat and smoke. This is very important, especially for fires that start inside of walls where the smoke is funneled away detectors. In addition, there are smoke detector manufacturers that make faulty promises about their products. When a smoke detector fails, it may be considered to be a defective product, in which case any injuries, deaths, or damage done may have to be answered to by the detector's manufacturer.