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FAQs - Q&A for Smoke and Heat Detectors

Smoke & Heat detectors    CO gas and CO detectors
Q1
WHY DO WE NEED A SMOKE DETECTOR?
Q2
WHY DO SMOKE DETECTORS SAVE LIVES?
Q3
HOW EFFECTIVE ARE SMOKE DETECTORS?
Q4
WHICH SMOKE DETECTOR SHOULD WE BUY?
Q5
IS THERE MORE THAN ONE TYPE OF SMOKE DETECTOR, AND WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?
Q6
WHERE AND HOW SHOULD WE INSTALL THE SMOKE DETECTOR?
Q7
WHAT ARE THE BASIC RULES FOR USING SMOKE DETECTORS?
Q8
WHAT ARE THE NECESSARY QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN BUYING SMOKE DETECVTORS?
Q9
HOW DO WE CORRECTLY INSTALL SMOKE DETECTRORS?
Q10
DO YOU HAVE SMOKE DETECTORS IN YOUR HOME? DO THEY WORK?
Q11
WHAT SHOULD WE DO IF THE DETECTOR ACTIVATES?
Q12
WHEN SHOULD I REPLACE MY SMOKE DETECTOR?
Q13
HOW MANY DETECTORS SHOULD I HAVE?
Q14
WHICH IS MORE IMPORTANT, THE TYPE OF DETECTOR OR THE NUMBER OF DETECTORS?
Q15
IF MY SMOKE DETECTOR GOES OFF WHEN I COOK. HOW CAN I STOP THIS?
Q16
HOW CAN I TEST MY DETECTOR?
Q17
SHOULD I USE REAL SMOKE TO TEST MY DETECTORS?
Q18
HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO CLEAN MY DETECTOR?
Q19
WHAT ABOUT CHANGING BATTERIES?
Q20
IS THAT SMOKE DETECTOR GOING TO SAVE YOU?
Q21
ARE HEAT DETECTORS USEFUL FOR HOMES?

Q1: WHY DO WE NEED A SMOKE DETECTOR?
A: The most important reason is that most fatal home fires occur at night, while people are asleep. Gases and smoke from a fire in your home can numb the senses in a very short time. Every home needs a device that can wake people up in time to escape from a fire. Almost every day, a smoke detector saves somebody's life. That's why Illinois law and the Elmhurst City Code require smoke detectors in all homes, hotels and apartments. Of all the low-cost fire-alarm devices you can buy, your fire department considers smoke detectors the most effective.

Q2: WHY DO SMOKE DETECTORS SAVE LIVES?
A: A smoke detector is a type of fire alarm. Some look like a small dinner plate, only thicker. A smoke detector is placed high in a room because smoke rises. It can detect smoke and sound an alarm before you ever see or smell the smoke.

There are many smoke detectors on the market. We can divide them into two lines: for industrial application and home use. Detectors for industrial application are usually connected to professional fire and security systems.

Detectors for home use operate on batteries; others use the house's electrical system, some with a battery in case of a power failure. With battery units you must replace the batteries. With electric units you do not have this problem. However, if the power goes out during a fire the smoke detector will not work unless it is equipped with a battery back-up.

For more information please, take a look at our Product categories.

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Q3: HOW EFFECTIVE ARE SMOKE DETECTORS?
A: Residential fire deaths have decreased steadily as the number of homes with smoke detectors increased. Reports from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) on residential fire deaths show that people have nearly a 50 percent better chance of surviving a fire if their home has the recommended number of smoke detectors.

Q4: WHICH SMOKE DETECTOR SHOULD WE BUY?
A: There are dozens of reputable brands of smoke detectors are readily available. No matter where you buy your detectors or what type they are, be sure that products are approved by professional laboratory (UL, BRE, VdS) or organization in your country that tests and evaluates products. Any labeled smoke detector offers protection whether it's professional unit or for household use. But to get the protection you paid for, it's vital that you follow the manufacturer's recommendations for installation, testing and maintenance.

All Everday products are manufactured according to ISO 9002 standard and have different approvals in different countries: UL, EN-54, CE, C-tick, GS, VdS, BS, GOST, etc.

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Q5:IS THERE MORE THAN ONE TYPE OF SMOKE DETECTOR, AND WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE?

A: There are two types of smoke detectors. One type is called an ionization detector because it monitors "ions," or electrically charged particles. Smoke particles entering the sensing chamber change the electrical balance of the air. The detector's horn will sound when the change in electrical balance reaches a preset level. Ionization detectors are designed to sense superheated gases of flaming fires in their earliest stages.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF AN IONIZATION DETECTOR? Ionization detectors are inexpensive, but are very sensitive to most types of airborne particles, making them prone to nuisance alarms. And ionization detectors are not effective in sensing smoldering, smoking fires.

The other type of detector is called PHOTOELECTRIC because its sensing chamber uses a beam of light and a light sensor. Smoke particles entering the chamber change the amount of light that reaches the light sensor. The detector sounds when the smoke density reaches a preset level.
Photoelectric devices detect smoldering fires before they reach a flaming condition. They can also sense the smoke from a flaming fire.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF AN IONIZATION DETECTOR? Photoelectric types cost more, but the advantage is that they are designed to alarm when the home fire is in its most dangerous phase, i.e., when large quantities of smoke are being thrown off -- as when easy chairs, couches, or mattresses are ignited by careless smokers, by overheated electrical circuits, by Christmas tree fires, etc.

All Everday smoke detectors are PHOTOELECTRIC type. For more information please, take a look at our Product categories.

Q6: WHERE AND HOW SHOULD WE INSTALL THE SMOKE DETECTOR?
A: ALWAYS FOLLOW THE MANUFACTURER'S INSTRUCTIONS. Every Everday's product has User Manual.

Professional Fire systems are installed by installing companies according to the standards and regulations in of your country.

Non-system smoke detectors operate either on batteries or household current. To install them in most cases, all you need is a screwdriver and a drill.. A detector that plugs into a wall outlet must have a restraining device so that the plug cannot accidentally be pulled from the wall. Detectors can also be hard-wired into the electrical system. But never hard-wire a detector to a circuit that can be turned off at a wall switch. Smoke rises, so, each detector should be mounted high on a wall or on the ceiling to detect smoke as soon as possible. For a wall-mount, the top of the detector should be 4 to 12 inches from the ceiling. For a ceiling mount, the detector should be placed at least 4 inches from any wall. In a room with a high-pitched ceiling, mount the detector on or near the ceiling's highest point. Don't install a detector near a window, door or air register where drafts could impair the detector operation. Locate a basement smoke detector close to the stairway leading to the floor above. But don't install the detector at the top of the basement stairs: dead air space near the door may prevent smoke from reaching the detector.

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Q7: WHAT ARE THE BASIC RULES FOR USING SMOKE DETECTORS?
A: One of the most important inventions of modern times is the smoke detector. They are inexpensive and rather easy to install. The following rules are important.

First install a smoke detector within 15 feet of all sleeping areas. (Ideally, a smoke detector should be installed in every room.)

Install a smoke detector on each level of your home. Smoke detectors are also recommended in laundry and furnace rooms.

Smoke detectors run on batteries in most cases. The battery should be checked weekly and replaced when the battery becomes low, minimally, 2 times a year when you change your clocks. NEVER remove the battery without replacing it.

NEVER use a smoke detector battery for other uses. Nothing can be more important than an operable smoke detector.

When traveling, take a smoke detector with you for your family's safety.

Q8: WHAT ARE THE NECESSARY QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN BUYING SMOKE DETECVTORS?
A: Some questions which should be answered when buying a smoke detector.

(1) Has the smoke detector been tested and approved by a national testing laboratory? Its seal of approval should be on the unit.

(2) Are batteries included? How long do they last? How much do they cost? Can the batteries be bought locally or do they need to be special ordered?

(3) Does the unit have a light signal and a sound signal to let you know when the battery needs replacing?

(4) Does the unit have a test switch so you can practice fire drills and learn to recognize the sound of the alarm?

(5) Can you test the unit at the store by blowing smoke into it? If not, test the unit at home before installing it.

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Q9: HOW DO WE CORRECTLY INSTALL SMOKE DETECTRORS?
A: Battery operated and electrically powered smoke detectors can be attached directly to the ceiling or to a wall, 5 to 12 inches below the ceiling. Wired-in electric detectors may require installation by a qualified electrician.

Place the detector near the bedrooms, within 15 feet of sleeping areas. Place them in an area away from air vents. If installing more than one detector it is a good idea to place one on each level of the house. It's the law in some areas.

The basement ceiling near the steps to the first level is a good location. Also additional detectors can be installed near the furnace and washer and dryer.

Q10: DO YOU HAVE SMOKE DETECTORS IN YOUR HOME? DO THEY WORK?
A: For minimum protection, install a smoke detector outside of each bedroom or sleeping area in your home. Better yet, install detectors on every level of your home. Keep your bedroom door closed while you are asleep.

Keep your smoke detectors properly maintained. Test them at least once every month to make sure they work.

If your smoke detector sounds an alarm when no smoke is present, consult with the manufacturer or with your local fire department. If smoke from cooking causes the detector to sound an alarm, do not remove the batteries or disconnect the power source. Fan the smoke away from the detector until the alarm stops. If this happens often, you may need to move the detector or install a different type of detector.

Make sure you have a family escape plan. Have home fire drills several times per year. Be aware that children and elderly people may need special assistance in the event of fire. When fire occurs, get out of the house and use a neighbor's telephone to call the fire department.

(a) TEST -- Test you smoke detectors at least once a month. Push the test button or blow smoke into the detector.

(b) CLEAN -- Clean your detectors at least once a year. Vacuum out the dust.

(c) Replace the battery every year. Better yet. Twice a year - when you change your clocks in the spring and fall. Replace the detector after ten years.

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Q11: WHAT SHOULD WE DO IF THE DETECTOR ACTIVATES?
A: Every family should have a fire escape plan. The plan should include how to get out of the house if the hallway or area outside the bedroom door is filled with smoke and heat. Your plan should include a designated meeting place outside the house. This is so everyone can be sure everyone is out of the house. Once everyone is accounted for, someone call Fire Department and report the fire. DO NOT GO BACK INTO THE HOUSE FOR ANY REASON! You should practice the escape plan on a regular basis so everyone is familiar with what to do.

If your detector sounds a steady alarm, there may be a fire. If there is no smoke, there is probably cooking smoke, shower steam, or dust in the detector. Clean the detector or blow into the detector to clear the chamber. If the area is full of steam or cooking smoke, it may take some time for the detector to reset. If you are not sure why the detector is in alarm, CALL THE FIRE DEPARTMENT. If the detector chirps intermittently, the battery is low and should be changed. Remember, check your detector once each month, clean the detector once a year, and change your detector battery when you change the time each fall.

Never paint the detector and do not use the battery for any other purpose such as radios or toys. There are detectors on the market with permanent 10-year batteries. Once the battery is used up, you can send the detector back to the manufacturer. Generally, detectors have a useful life of 10 years. After that, you can send them back to the manufacturer for disposal.

Q12: WHEN SHOULD I REPLACE MY SMOKE DETECTOR?
A: Smoke detectors that are 10 years old are near the end of their service life and should be replaced. A smoke detector constantly monitors the air 24 hours a day. At the end of 10 years, it has gone through over 3.5 million monitoring cycles. After this much use, components may become less reliable. This means that as the detector gets older, the potential of failing to detect a fire increases. Replacing them after 10 years reduces this possibility.
5 years warrantee covers all Everday detectors.

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Q13: HOW MANY DETECTORS SHOULD I HAVE?
A: The average sized home or apartment needs more than one smoke detector. The exact number depends on the number of levels in the home and the number of bedrooms. National fire safety standards recommend a minimum of one detector on each level of the home, one detector outside the bedroom area, and one in each bedroom. The detector that is placed outside of the bedroom area should be installed near enough to be heard at night through a closed bedroom door.

Q14: WHICH IS MORE IMPORTANT, THE TYPE OF DETECTOR OR THE NUMBER OF DETECTORS?
A: The number of detectors is more important than the type. Installing several smoke detectors of each type will provide better coverage in the extreme cases of long-term smoldering or fast flaming fires. But since both types respond in time to escape, the most important thing is to install enough detectors in the proper locations. Detectors are available with both types of sensors in the same unit, but they are more expensive than models with a single sensor. If the choice is between having only one of each type or having more of the same type, more detectors is the better choice.

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Q15: IF MY SMOKE DETECTOR GOES OFF WHEN I COOK. HOW CAN I STOP THIS?
A: Smoke detectors are designed to be very sensitive so they will alert occupants to a fire in time for them to escape. If a detector regularly responds to smoke from cooking, there are several options for handling this problem. One way is to replace the detector with one that has a button that silences it for a few minutes. Another way is to move the detector farther away, giving the smoke a chance to dissipate. Moving a ceiling-mounted detector to a wall can also reduce nuisance alarms. However, this will also make it a little slower to respond to a real fire.

If the detector is the ionization type, another option is to replace it with a photoelectric. This detector is less sensitive to smaller smoke particles and thus is less affected by cooking smoke.

Q16: HOW CAN I TEST MY DETECTOR?
A: Every smoke detector comes with a test button. We recommend that people test their detectors regularly, at least once a month.

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Q17: SHOULD I USE REAL SMOKE TO TEST MY DETECTORS?
A: This is not recommended because the burning objects used to create the smoke might cause a fire. Some stores sell pressurized cans of simulated smoke for this purpose. When using this product, follow the operating instructions and do not get the can too close to the detector. This prevents the smoke from coating the detector's sensing chamber, which can make the detector inoperable.

Q18: HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO CLEAN MY DETECTOR?
A: Cleaning is easy. Just vacuum the detector at least once a year. This will keep the openings to the sensing chamber free of dust, residue from cooking vapors and insects.

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Q19: WHAT ABOUT CHANGING BATTERIES?
A: Smoke detector batteries should last at least one year under normal conditions. The biggest reason that smoke detectors don't work is because people remove the batteries, e.g., to stop the low battery signal or a nuisance alarm, and forget to replace them. When a battery reaches the end of its service life, the detector will give a short beep every minute or so. It is easy to remove the battery and then forget to replace it. The best way to prevent this is to replace batteries at the same time each year before the low battery signal begins.

Q20: IS THAT SMOKE DETECTOR GOING TO SAVE YOU?
A: Over the past couple of decades we have always urged or clients to install smoke detectors in their homes. And a few years back so did the Uniform Building Code, as it is now required in all homes. In the community that we are based in, we are required to install one smoke detector in every bedroom as a condition of receiving a building permit for any kind of remodel. This has been a great program since many people are now covered by smoke detectors that otherwise would not have installed them.

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Q21: ARE HEAT DETECTORS USEFUL FOR HOMES?
A: No, smoke is the killer in home fires, not heat. Heat detectors can be installed near kitchens, garages or dusty areas where smoke detectors could give false alarms.

Everday Range of Smoke & Heat Detectors:

HD 988/989 Conventional ROR/FT temperature Heat detector
EA 318/318H Conventional Photoelectric Smoke/Heat detectors
EA 323 Conventional Heat detectors
SD 169/168/269/268 Conventional Photoelectric Smoke/Heat detectors
SD 325 Conventional Photoelectric Smoke/Heat detectors
SD 728 Stand Alone Photoelectric Smoke/Heat detectors
SD 733 Stand Alone Photoelectric Smoke detectors
SD 738 Stand Alone Photoelectric Smoke detectors
HD 2001 Stand Alone Heat detectors


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