Tip of the Month - July 2007
SUPPLYING SMOKE DETECTORS
Source: Landlording-Ninth Edition-By Leigh Robinson
Smoke detectors are ideal watchdogs to protect life, limb, and
property. They cannot put out fires, but they do a good job of
warning the living that there is fire danger.
Now that so many manufacturers make them, perfectly adequate smoke
detectors are available for as little as $10.00 and as much as
$35.00. At such prices, there is no good reason for any rental
dwelling to be without them, and there is no good reason not to replace
them quickly when they malfunction.
There are two fire detection techniques used in the smoke detectors
readily available today, ionization and photocell. Each has
distinct advantages. Ionization detectors, which sound an alarm
when smoke interferes with an electric current flowing constantly
through an ionization chamber, are better at detecting rapidly burning,
flaming fires. Photocell detectors, which sound their alarm when
smoke deflects a beam of light to a photocell, are better at sensing
slow, smoldering fires.
As for location, if you are installing only one detector, mount it near
the bedrooms where it will awaken the sleepyheads. Avoid locating
any detector in a kitchen because cooking is bound to cause some
All detectors require an electrical power source. Some run on
house current, and some run on batteries. Those which run on
house current are preferable because the do not depend upon the
uncertain reliability of a battery and are less likely to be disabled.
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page was updated on 07/06/2007.