I listened to home inspector today as he inspected a house I sold in San Jose. He was talking about the importance of smoke alarms and how most homes only have an “ionization” or a “photoelectric” type detector but not both. Up to that comment I had smugly checked off that my home had a smoke alarm and we were set. I realized, however, that I didn’t even know which type I had. Then the inspector referred to some studies that suggest people can sleep right through the constant pitch of a smoke alarms going off – almost like getting used to “white noise” or constant background sounds.
Enter “alarm and voice” devises and variable pitch alarms. The newest alarms even talk to you: “Warning, Warning, Fire, Fire“. Then they put out a variable pitch alarm. When the inspector mentioned “the other type of alarm: “the CO2 detector” I knew I needed to get updated. “You know that Carbon Monoxide is called the ‘Silent Killer’, right?. Well there is an alarm for that too”, he offered. While I vaguely remember thinking about that in the past I did not install a CO detector in my home.
I found “National Fire Protection Association” website to be very helpful. I quickly realized that my home was not adequately equipped with the most up-to-date smoke detectors nor do I have enough detectors in my two story home. I’m headed to Lowe’s for all three types of alarms.
How about your home? I recommend that you go to NFPA’s website