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Choosing the Right First Alert Fire Alarm for Your Home

Saturday, January 7, 2012
Few would dispute the immense benefit of having fire alarms installed in your home can have. They come in many shapes and sizes. They can be elaborate installations such as those installed in hotel complexes or they can consist of a simple device bought at the local hardware store and installed by you.

Whatever you do, it's very important that where you install devices which are wired into the mains supply in your home that this installation is undertaken by a professional electrician. Short circuits which arise in your home electrics can themselves be the cause of a house fire.

Smoke alarms are some of the best forms of detection because smoke is one of the first by-products to arise once a fire has ignited. And smoke rises quickly once it starts. This is why you find smoke detectors placed in the ceilings of your home as smoke makes a fast beeline for the roof of a room.

And that's the beauty of the smoke detector. It picks up the initial smoke very quickly within seconds of a fire starting. Thus it is one of the best first alert devices you can acquire.

There are many different types of smoke detector. There are the state of the art devices which, once installed, are linked to a central fire monitoring control centre. Many telecoms companies offer these services.

With these, on first detecting smoke, the detector not only sounds a loud audible alarm but also relays an instant message to the remote control centre. And the remote control centre, in turn, calls the local fire brigade instantly. Control centres are manned 24/7. The great thing about this service is it means you can leave your home and know it is being monitored even when you're not there.

Another recent development are smoke alarms which, on detecting smoke, send an SMS message to any nominated mobile phone, in addition to sounding a loud audible alarm. Thus, if you're out temporarily (or indeed at the other end of the globe) you can be alerted instantly a fire hazard is detected within your home.

Deciding whether to install a battery operated DIY alarm versus having an alarm system installed into the mains by a professional depends largely on your budget. But you should also consider maintenance discipline, particularly in the case of DIY installations as this is just as important as installing an alarm itself.

Battery only alarms need to have their batteries changed periodically.

Without live batteries the alarm will be all but useless. If you install quality long life batteries these should be changed at least once a year.

Lesser quality batteries should be changed more frequently. To avoid having to change the batteries in each room at different times (thus making the whole process more arduous than it need be) it is probably better to change all batteries, on all alarms, on the same day.

A smart way to do this is to establish a fixed anniversary (or anniversaries), each year, on which date you carry out this function. New Year is a great day to do this provided you haven't been over indulging the night before. At least it's a holiday in most countries around the world and a day on which you can therefore rely.

Hard wired alarms are installed directly into the mains as, as above mentioned, this should only be installed by a professional electrician. These are great in that you don't have to remember to replace batteries. However, if the mains supply fails for any reason then your alarm will fail to operate as well.'t forget that one of the causes of a mains supply failure is thunder and lightning. And one of the causes of house fires is lightning as well. If the smoke alarm has no power it cannot detect smoke and the risk to you and your family is heightened.

Enter the hard wired smoke alarm with in-built battery back-up system. The beauty of this system is, as it runs on the mains (unless there is a mains supply failure), the batteries in the battery back-up system, which take over operation of the alarm in such circumstances, do not need to be changed so frequently. This kills two birds with one stone.

However the batteries still need to be changed at some point in the future so it's always wise to schedule a regular date to do this. Setting up a reminder as to when to do this will help avoid the chances of forgetting. Set up an email reminder. Yahoo email, for example, enables you to set up simple, time set, reminders years in advance.

Whatever you do, you must install alarms in your home. And, once installed, you must attend to servicing these alarms of a fixed periodic basis. You owe it to your family, as well as yourself, to do this.

Douglas Barker is a writer who specialises in key fact type articles for a wide range of interesting life improvement subjects. You can check out the website which relates to this subject at First Alert Smoke Alarm, where he zeros in on essential facts relating to fire hazards in the home, which includes a short write up on the Smoke Alarm Beeping, and much more.