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Time to fall back (and check your smoke alarms)



This weekend marks summer time when we "fall back" for an hour. A general rule of thumb is to change the batteries in your smoke detectors when summer time ends and begins (if you do not have a special detector – more about that below). In addition to replacing the batteries, here are some guidelines that are smart to follow when checking / testing smoke alarms:

  • Smoke alarms should be maintained according to the manufacturer's instructions, so review and follow the instructions.
  • Test smoke alarm at least once a month with the test button.
  • Make sure everyone in the home understands the sound of the smoke alarm and knows how to respond.
  • Smoke alarms with non-replaceable 10-year batteries are designed to remain effective for up to ten years. If the alarm acknowledges and warns that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke alarm immediately.
  • Smoke alarm with any other type of battery needs a new battery at least once a year. If the alarm sounds, the battery warns too low, replace the battery immediately.
  • When replacing batteries, see the manufacturer's list of batteries on the back of the alarm or in the manufacturer's instructions. The manufacturer's instructions are specific to the batteries (make and model) that must be used and the smoke alarm may not work properly if the specified batteries are not used.
  • Replace all smoke alarms in your home every ten years, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Did you know that you should use two types of smoke detection techniques in your home? The two most commonly recognized smoke detection techniques are ionization smoke detection and photoelectric smoke detection. For best protection, use both of these types:

  • Optical detection – photoelectric smoke alarm combines a light source and a sensor. When smoke passes between the two and interrupts the beam, it goes out. The NFPA says, "Photoelectric smoke detection is generally more sensitive to fires that begin with a long period of smoldering (called smoldering fires)." These are considered to provide adequate protection for smoldering fires, but not so much for flaming fires. But over time, the lens becomes dusty and the device is less and less likely to "see" smoke. This type is usually used in large rooms.
  • Physical process – ionization Smoke alarms are very sensitive and can detect smoke that is not visible to the eye. This type has a radioactive element that passes a constant current through an ionization chamber between two electrodes. Every particle that enters the chamber, such as smoke, interrupts the current and alarms. This type of detector is generally cheaper to manufacture but more prone to false alarms.

FYI … combination alarms that contain both technologies in a single device are available.

When changing clocks this weekend, why not take the time, for everyone's safety, to check your smoke detectors as well? Be sure to change the batteries and make it a habit twice a year in connection with summer time. And for safety's sake, consider replacing smoke detector units over ten years!

For more information and tips on how to protect your home from a fire, see these blog posts:

"Tips on Fire Protection for Your Home"

"ABC Fire Extinguisher – What You Need to Know"

Source : https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Staying-safe/Safety-equipment/Smoke-alarms/Ionization -vs-fotoelektrisk

The information above and in the blog posts in Centralförsäkring is of a general nature and your insurance and coverage may differ from the examples.Read your insurance in its entirety to determine your available coverage.

Copyright © 2020 Central Mutual Insurance Company. All rights reserved.


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