A few weeks before this was written on January 12, 2015 there was a unit that caught fire at Brittan Heights and this made me think about the importance smoke detectors and that the majority of people have the wrong type in their homes. There are two types, ionization smoke detection and photoelectric smoke detection.
Ionization is what 90% of people have in their homes. Its older technology that reacts well to hot flames, but is also more likely to falsely trip which often results in people yanking out the batteries and just leaving the thing hanging useless on the ceiling.
Photoelectric detectors react better to smoldering fires, which typically provide occupants a better advance warning about the fire and prevents them some succumbing to dangerous fumes.
Statistics show that flame fires account only for 15% of deaths while smoldering fires account for 61%. While an ionization detector may give occupants a 15-20 second advantage in a flame fire, it may not trip altogether in a smoldering fire. There are detectors out there now that include both technologies, but if you have to choose just one, it would seem that the photoelectric would be the better choice.
Remember that you should have smoke detectors in all bedrooms and the hallway plus add a CO detector in the hallway – near the furnace.
Stay safe and healthy in 2015.