In Miami,Fl it is not uncommon to hear Miami Dade Fire Department trucks sounding sirens as they race down your neighborhood streets. Yet most of us have never experienced a house fire. In fact most of us don't really know anyone that have themselves experienced the tragedy of a house fire. Surprisingly enough though last year in the United States a total of 1,389,500 house fires occurred. A combined total of 3,005 deaths were attributed to fire. And millions upon millions of dollars of property loss took place. And the most interesting fact about all this is that the majority of fire deaths occur from the gases and smoke rather than the actual flames.
- Smoke Detector Location Some years ago the Florida Building Code required that smoke detectors be placed in the hallway just before the bedroom entrances. This idea made sense because after all, the main reason to even install smoke detectors is for life safety. So the reasoning behind placing them before the bedroom entrances was to alert anyone in a bedroom before the fire penetrated that area. This idea made sense but what about if the fire initiates inside of a bedroom? For people that are smokers the fire can realistically start inside a bedroom. Even an electric fire is very possible to occur within any area of a home. Because of this the Florida Building Code and National Fire Protection Association have since implemented that smoke detectors be placed inside every bedroom as well as all hallways leading to the bedrooms. Even in areas such as living rooms and dining rooms it is required to have fire protection. Some things to look for when placing a
smoke detector in a space is not placing it too close to the edge of a wall. This too can be a problem because the smoke may not easily reach the detector if it is placed in a corner or too close to the edge of a wall. Placing the smoke detector near an air conditioner vent is not good either for obvious reasons. The air conditioner will blow any smoke away from the detector making it inoperable.
- Heat Detector Location One place that a smoke detector should not be placed is in the house kitchen. This is quite ironic because most fires originate in the kitchen while cooking. However, placing a smoke detector in the kitchen can be a big problem because it will be triggering by smoke created by the cooking itself. So because fires occur mainly in kitchens and smoke detectors are not the solution, the proper sensor to place in a kitchen is a heat detector. Heat detectors do just that, they detect a rise in temperature within a residence. Primarily if the temperature rises beyond 135 degrees, the heat detector will generate an alarm condition. Even in a garage where a car may generate smoke through it's exhaust, a smoke detector may not be the best idea. A
heat detector however will generate an alarm condition only if a real fire occurs. Heat detectors however should just be limited to these two areas as they only provide an alert after a fire is big enough to rise the temperature above 135 degrees. At this point the damage to a home is quite severe and the safety of persons in the home is at a big risk.
- Fire Alarm Monitoring One of the things that the NFPA is not necessarily concerned with is protecting personal property. Life safety is their main concern and that is the way it should be but some persons wish to protect their belongings. Yes it is true that smoke and heat detectors are designed primarily for life safety, but now these sensors are designed to also protect property. Fire detection manufacturers now design these sensors to be compatible with most home alarm control panels. Fire alarm monitoring is a great way to prevent extensive damage to your property in the event a fire starts while you are not at home. If a fire breaks out while no one is home the smoke detector in the home will initiate a siren inside and outside the house to alert the neighbors. At the same time that the sirens sound off in the home, the alarm monitoring station is notified of the fire alarm condition. The central station then notifies the home owner of the fire alarm condition and calls the local fire department as well. This monitored system goes beyond protecting property to actually saving the life of your pet. If you have a pet at home while you are at work then having a monitored smoke detector gives you great peace of mind knowing your pets are safe in the event a fire occurs. The monitoring station will even advise the fire department of the animals at the home.
- Fire Detector Maintenance If you own a home that came already equipped with smoke detectors wired into your home electricity then some maintenance is required on your part. These smoke detectors work with the house electricity but require a back up battery in case the power goes out. If an electric fire occurs these sensors rely on the back up battery to operate. If these batteries are dead from not being replaced regularly they just will not work. If you own a home that did not come with smoke detectors and the ones you have are battery operated sensors then you really need to create a schedule for changing batteries in these detectors. Most smoke detectors have a feature where they actually emit a chirping sound every minute or so to alert you of the need to change the batteries. If you have monitored smoke detectors then you do not have to ever replace the detectors batteries because they simply do not have any. Monitored smoke detectors use the actual control panels power source to operate properly. And all control panels have a back up battery which needs replacing every 5 years or so. Alarm control panels annunciate a low battery signal to alert the home owner when it is time to replace the batteries.
If you would like more information on how you can install monitored smoke and heat detectors in your home then call us today at (786)325-7867 or (305)233-6044. Or you can visit our website at www.miamifloridahomesecurity.com