Rather Be Safe Than Sorry
No one can deny smoke detectors are a simple, but valuable object for preventing a tragic loss of a life in a house fire. But smoke detectors are not always this preventative, always reliable device. Battery-operated detectors work only when they have a battery inside. Hard-wired detectors operate only if they’re properly installed and have a constant energy source. Short-circuits in wired models can actually spark fires and create a problem on its own. Homeowners commonly install detectors incorrectly, or even just forget to maintain them. The quality of a detector does no good when it cannot do it’s job correctly due to poor maintence and homeowner error.
One inncident that proves detectors are not “fire proof” was in 2011 when fire services in England were doing annual smoke detector fittings for houses for a fire prevention campaign. The Fire Angel ST 620 detector was supplied to fire and rescue services for this campaign, but is now on alert after one caught fire in a home after installation. Despite the high quality and reliability of the detector, this fired occured after the low battery chirp sounded, then igniting into flames. Mrs Gray, the homeowner, said the fire started near a chair and would almost certainly have spread if her daughter Victoria had not been in the house by chance.
New and improved detectors are always coming onto the market, usually advancing with technology. In a article by Haramis Electric, these detectors will alert emergency services automatically if a smoke detector is activated in your home. Also, if a homeowner is away from the house, an alert will still be sent to the police dispatch before the fire can spread. However, there are some disadvantages to these “smart” detectors.
These new detectors are being powered by the household power, and alert people when connected to WiFi. Loss of internet service, power outages, and an unreliable wifi signal can mean that your device won’t be able to send an alert when you need them the most. Natural disasters and other incidents may occur causing this connection to be lost. As a fire fighter if there is a storm that has high winds and heavy rain, we receive many calls for power lines being down. When they are down, detectors in households no longer receive the power needed operate and detect smoke.
Advantages/Disadvantages of Smart Smoke Detectors. (2016, September 08). Retrieved March 19, 2018, from http://www.haramiselectric.com/blog/advantagesdisadvantages-smart-smoke-detectors/
Smoke Detector Beeping: Maintenance Is Likely Required. (2009, June 22). Retrieved March 19, 2018, from https://www.doityourself.com/stry/smoke-detector-beeping-maintenance-is-likely-required
Brooke, C. (2011, November 08). Fire services on alert after smoke detector is blamed for causing TWO blazes. Retrieved April 05, 2018, from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2058922/Firefighters-forced-stop-handing-smoke-alarms-catches-alight-nearly-burns-house.html