They were invented by the Germans during World War II for the purpose of providing protection in their munitions and other factories.
Depending on the type you have in your Seattle home, generally, they work using one of two technologies. The two technologies that smoke detectors use are photoelectric and ionization.
Types of Fire
Today's smoke detectors are generally used to detect one of the two types of fire condition. One general fire condition is the heavier smoke producing, smoldering fire. The other type of fire would be consider more like a flash fire such as cooking oil catching fire on a stove top.
A photoelectric smoke detector works by periodically pulsing a tiny beam of light through the inside of the detector chamber. What causes this type of smoke detector to go into an alarm condition is when that beam of light is deflected by a sufficient amount of accumulated smoke inside the detector. This process is similar in nature to how car headlight beam will become deflected during foggy low light conditions.
An ionization smoke detector works by measuring a small electrical charge inside the detectors detection chamber. This charge is applied and measured and when the charge remains at the correct level the smoke detector isn't activated. When a change to the electrical charge inside the detector changes sufficiently then the smoke detector will go into an alarm condition.
Seattle Smoke Detector Placement
The National Fire Protection Association recommends placing smoke detector in a minimum number of locations inside a home. Its recommend you consult their website for further information regarding suggested placement. However, it is the most advantageous to place one inside each sleeping area as well as immediately outside each sleep area. As well, it is recommended a minimum of one be installed on each floor in the Seattle home.
The most common causes of false alarms can be (not limited to):
Improper placement - For example, a detector placed inside the kitchen/immediately cooking area could result in unwanted false alarms. Food particles, rising during the cooking process, can enter the smoke detection chamber and cause the household smoke detector to go into an alarm condition.
Low or No batteries - Depending on the type of detectors and how they've been installed, a low or no battery condition might cause a loud beeping noise etc. It is recommended batteries be change when they are found to be low or as often as the onset or retiring of day light savings each year.
Summary of Household Smoke Detectors
The two general types of are ionization and photoelectric. They can be used to detect flash fire and/or smoldering fires and it is recommended you refer to the manufacturer packaging to learn which type is best for a given fire risk. Batteries should be replaced when low or as often as the onset or retiring of day light savings each year.
When you are looking for a experienced professional to install your smoke detectors, then please consider Luke Electric.
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