Hopefully, you already understand how important it is to have a functional smoke detector, a.k.a fire alarm, in each room of your house. This isn’t just one of those “good idea to have” kind of things—it is absolutely essential to the safety of your family and the protection of your valuables.
What many homeowners often don’t realize, however, is that they can and should have their smoke detectors hardwired into their electrical system, too. When it comes time to schedule this service, be sure to get in touch with expert electricians in Sandpoint, ID.
Your Smoke Detector Options
Before we delve deeper into the importance of hardwiring your smoke detectors, we want to talk a bit about the types of smoke detectors available and what may be best for your home. For example, some older residences and even commercial kitchens are equipped with heat detectors. These are designed to detect high-heat fires in small confined spaces. They are not as effective as smoke detectors in today’s modern homes!
Here are the different types of smoke detectors on the market, and the different benefits they offer:
Ionization Smoke Detectors: These smoke detectors have a small amount of radioactive material in them. As radiation passes through an ionization chamber, a constant current is withheld between the electrodes of the detector. When smoke enters this chamber, the current is interrupted and that sets off the alarm. This type of smoke detectors is best for fast, raging fires.
Photoelectric Smoke Detectors: These types of smoke detectors operate using a light source and a photoelectric sensor. When smoke enters through the optical chamber and crosses the path of the light beam, light is scattered by the smoke particles, which activates the sensor, and the alarm goes off. This smoke detector works best for slow, smoldering fires.
Combination Smoke Detectors: This is typically going to be the best choice for your home, since it combines the ionization and photoelectric smoke detector into one. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends having both types in your home if you can’t have the combination type.
Where Hardwiring Comes into Play
No matter what type(s) of smoke detectors you have in your home, hardwiring it to your electrical system is a great idea. The reason for this is because then you don’t have to rely solely on batteries, which can die on you. That being said, hardwired smoke detectors should still have a battery backup in case of a power outage.
High-quality hardwired smoke detectors are getting more and more popular due to their accuracy, especially since most are automatically designed to pick up on both heat and smoke before they’re triggered. And lastly, hardwired systems man that each smoke detector is connected to the others in your home. Therefore if one goes off in an unoccupied room, the rest will go off, ensuring that the whole household knows.