Tip of the Month - July 2007


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 nuisance alarms.

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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This web page was updated on 07/06/2007.