You installed smoke alarms and you think your family is fire safe. In the words of Lee Corso…not so fast my friend. Over 90% of Texas families are at risk because most people believe that all smoke alarms are the same. After all, every smoke alarm sold is tested and approved. The smoke alarms most of us have are either Ionization or Photoelectric type and each is very different. How can you make your Austin home safer?
Number of House Fire Deaths at Same Levels as Before Smoke Detectors
Prior to 1970, smoke alarms were virtually non-existent for residential use. At that time, the home fire death rate was about 7 to 8 fatalities per 1,000 US home fires. Subsequently, hundreds of millions of smoke alarms were installed in US homes, yet the chances of dying in a home fire remain about 7 to 8 deaths per 1,000 home fires. Obviously, something is amiss.
Most Residential Fire Fatalities are Due to Smoke Inhalation
Jay Fleming, a Boston, Mass, Deputy Chief, estimates that “at least 10,000 – 15,000 people have died unnecessarily in smoldering house fires since 1990 because they relied on ionization detectors.” Smoke alarm marketers insist all smoke alarms are alike. While it is true that the ionization alarms responds about 30 to 90 seconds faster to open or “fast-flame” fires, nearly 100% of residential fire fatalities are from smoke inhalation and not from the flame itself.
Photoelectric Smoke Detectors Provide More Protection
Most fires occur at night while people are asleep. These ionization alarms respond about 30 to 90 seconds slower to smoldering fires that a photoelectric alarm. In these fatal fires, a photoelectric alarm will alert occupants in time to facilitate a safe escape about 96% of the time. Ionization alarms will generally give ample warning less than 40% of the time…that means 60% of the time someone may die.
Spend an Extra Few Dollars and Install Photoelectric Smoke Detectors
Every year, about 1,000 people die in residential fires and thousands more are seriously injured. Don’t let a family member become a statistic. Make fire safety a top-of-mind priority. Photoelectric alarms provide best available protection in real world fires. For just a few dollars more, you and your family can be fire safe. Forget about just replacing your batteries, install new Photoelectric smoke alarms and pass on this tip to your family, friends, business colleagues and neighbors.