According to the National Fire Protection Association fire statistics, show there were 1,375,000 fires reported in the United States resulting in 2855 deaths, 16,500 injuries and $12.4 billion in property damage. Of that number the vast majority of civilian injuries (14,700) and property damage ($9.8 billion) were from 480,500 structure fires.\nThe National Fire Protection Association had surveys conducted by the Harris company and a separate survey by the Consumer Product Safety Commission revealed that between 96 and 97% of the surveyed households reported having at least one smoke alarm. That means that close to 5 million households still did not have any.\nSo what’s the big deal?\nIt’s nice to have a smoke alarm; but if it isn’t working, it doesn’t do you much good.\nMany people disable them intentionally because they consider them to be a nuisance.\nThe death rate per 100 reported home fires was more than twice as high in homes that didn’t have a working smoke alarm-either because there was no alarm at all or the alarm that was there was inoperable-than in homes with a working smoke alarm. Convinced yet?\nSo making sure that you have a smoke alarm is a good first step. But once you have it you need to make sure that it is operable at all times.\nThree out of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes without working smoke alarms.\nThe risk of dying in a reported home structure fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms.\nSome other statistics show:\n\nOne structure fire was reported every 66 seconds.\nOne home structure fire was reported every 85 seconds.\nOne civilian injury was reported every 32 minutes.\nOne civilian fire death every three hours and four minutes.\n\nOur smoke alarm goes off frequently when we grill on the porch. Smoke seeps into the house and sets off the alarm. More commonly the kitchen smoke alarm sounds too often or more infrequently, steam from a hot shower sets off an alarm.\nThese nuisance alarms are a major cause for disconnecting a smoke alarm which is a huge mistake. Just move the alarm or if space constraints are impractical, get a photoelectric alarm or one that can be silenced temporarily.\nUp until recently there were only two types of smoke detectors:\nIonization and Photoelectric Smoke Alarms\nIonization smoke alarms have two electrically charged plates with a small amount of radioactive material between them. The material ionizes the air and causes current to flow between the plates. When smoke enters the chamber it disrupts the flow of ions, reducing the flow of current and activating the alarm. This type of alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires.\nA photoelectric smoke alarm is generally considered to be more responsive to fires that begin with a long period of smoldering. They aim a light source into a sensing chamber at an angle away from the sensor. When smoke enters the chamber, it reflects the light onto the light sensor triggering the alarm.\nSo how do you know what kind of alarm to get? The obvious answer, up until now, was to get both types. Predicting the type of fire you may have in your home is risky business.\nThe consumer product and safety commission CPSC confirms that almost all households have at least one alarm but as noted, many are not working properly or the incorrect number per household are installed. The general rule of thumb is one smoke alarm for every bedroom and one for a large common area.\nWith new breakthrough in smoke sensing technology there is a new model that eliminates nuisance alarms and protect families against both types of fires-smoldering and flaming. You should get some!\nHow many smoke alarms do you have in your house? Have you ever disabled one? Please share your experience. We want to hear your thoughts.