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What Alarms Should You Have In Your Home?

In today’s post we are going to take a look at what alarms you should have in your home, where they should be located and give you a recommendation on how many you should have. It is the safety of your family and the protection of your home that we are talking about here.

What do Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the California State Fire Marshal (CSFM) all have in common? They set the standards for smoke and fire alarms that are manufactured for distribution in the United States. They set some of the toughest criteria anywhere. Universal smoke, carbon monoxide, gas and fire alarms comply with all of their requirements. They actually set the standard for the rest of the alarm industry.

The National Fire Protection Association 2012 fire statistics, show there were 1,375,000 fires reported in the United States resulting in $12.4 billion in property damage and close to 3000 deaths. Their statistics show that close to 5 million homes don’t have a smoke alarm.

In each year “over 400 Americans die from CO poisoning and more than 20,000 visit an emergency room with 4,000 of those requiring hospitalization. Folks over 65 are the most susceptible. According to the CDC only 30% of American homes have functioning carbon monoxide alarms. That is actually a frightening statistic when they are so effective and inexpensive.”

What type of alarm should you have?

In order to protect your home, and more importantly your family from the ravages of a fire or a carbon monoxide poisoning event, you should at least have a fire alarm and a carbon monoxide detector alarm. Those should be the absolute minimum.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) strongly recommends that smoke alarms be installed in every sleeping room, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home.

The three in one alarm protects against fast flaming fires-the most common type, carbon monoxide and natural gas.

The four in one alarm uses IoPhic sensing technology to detect slow smoldering fires in addition to fast burning fires, carbon monoxide and natural gas.

Where should your alarms be located?

We would recommend that you have a Universal ionization smoke alarm in every sleeping area and a four in one alarm on every floor. That will give you complete coverage for an inexpensive investment. How much is your family and your home worth anyhow?

Until now, if you wanted to have protection from a fast burning fire in your home or slow smoldering fire, you needed to have two separate alarms. You needed a photoelectric alarm for slow burning smoldering fires such as one that detects a cigarette burning in bed or electrical wiring burning inside walls of your home. Then you needed an ionization alarm that uses advanced ionization technology for quick detection of fast flaming fires.

But now Universal has introduced a patent pending IoPhic ionization alarm using smoke sensing technology that can detect both fast flaming fires and slow smoldering fires up to 87% faster. They utilize microprocessor intelligence that is designed to eliminate virtually all nuisance alarms that are caused by nonhazardous sources such as every day cooking smoke or steamy showers. Nuisance alarms are the number one cause for consumers intentionally disabling smoke alarms.

There is a self-diagnostic feature that performs a status check to ensure the alarm is properly functioning. There is a continual compensation adjustment for your local ambient temperature and humidity.

The unit has four separate LEDs that indicate power, smoke, carbon monoxide and natural gas. It is powered by 120 volt AC hard wired, but there is a 9 V battery backup that is automatically triggered in the event of power outage. The unit has an audible low battery warning signal.

In the event of a fire a piercing 85 dB alarm sounds. The unit also has two tamper resistant locking features to prevent unauthorized alarm or battery removal.

Depending on the product type there is an end of service life warning which varies from 7 to 10 years.

There is a test button/single silence feature that can quickly silence the alarm in the event of a nuisance alarm which is unlikely. A QuickDraw® front-loading battery drawer allows battery replacement without removing the alarm from the bracket.

The unit comes with all the mounting hardware you need, instruction manual and a 9 volt battery. The universal mounting bracket fits any standard wiring junction box, single gang, round or octagon, up to 4″. A larger mounting base that is available on some models provides coverage of pre-existing paint and drywall imperfections.

It is possible to interconnect up to 24 separate devices including carbon monoxide alarms, relays, heat detectors and smoke alarms. When one alarm triggers, all the other interconnected alarms throughout the entire home will be triggered so that everyone is alerted immediately and has time to safely escape.

Do you have a three in one or four in one alarm in your house? What alarms do you have? Please share your experience. 

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