What are Smoke Detectors?
Smoke detectors are legally required technology in Canada in buildings and are used to monitor smoke levels inside of a building. They will automatically detect and warn you of rising smoke levels.
Smoke detectors need to be checked on a regular basis and you must ensure they’re properly maintained.
Why Use Smoke Detectors?
Firstly smoke detectors are legally required in Canadian homes. Having smoke detectors placed throughout your home allows for quick and responsive detection of rising smoke levels in case of a fire.
Smoke detectors are actively monitoring smoke levels 24/7. Some may have longer battery lives than others while specific smoke detectors may be powered through hardwire.
With professional smoke detector placement firefighters and 24/7 monitoring can also detect location of smoke more efficiently.
How do Smoke Detectors Work?
Smoke detectors are always placed on the roof inside of your monitored rooms because smoke rises. Generally there are two types of smoke detectors you can choose from. Photoelectric and ionization. Photoelectric smoke detectors use a beam of light within the detector to monitor and sense smoke.
If the beam of light enters smoke, the photons disperse and the alarm is sounded.
Ionization sensors use a small chamber which houses a small electrical current. If smoke enters the chamber, the electrical current will change.
When the current in the chamber drops, the alarm is sounded.
You should generally be performing maintenance on your smoke detectors regularly to ensure they are kept clean and operational. Some of the maintenance you can do includes:
- Testing your smoke alarm once a month to ensure your battery is not dead.
- Vacuuming your smoke alarm every 6 months to remove dust and webs.
- Protecting your smoke alarm from infestations.
- Replacing the battery in battery powered smoke alarms.
When Should You Replace Your Smoke Detector?
Smoke alarms are generally active 24/7 and may begin to malfunction over time from exposure to dust and damages.
Most smoke alarms or detectors do have a replace by date somewhere on them. However if yours does not its recommended to replace your smoke detectors once every 10 years.