The smoke detector is an often overlooked safety device that is relatively inexpensive but is invaluable in its service. This article is written to convince owners to upgrade, install new, or to replace their smoke detectors and it serves as an informative write up on the importance of having fully functioning smoke detectors. This article is focused at the business and home owners in the Los Angeles County, and more specifically the city of Santa Monica. In Los Angeles County the total number of natural disasters that occur are above the US average, and more specifically over 4 times the national average. Natural disasters include floods / storm damage, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes and, by far the biggest contributor, fires. According to the NFPA, National Fire Protection Association over 60% of all fires that resulted in a death, the property didn’t have smoke detectors present and/or working. The causes of most fires are faulty electrical wiring and also kitchen / cooking fires. That is almost like saying if you have a fire and you don’t have functioning smoke detectors installed, then you have more than a 50-50 chance of injury or even death as a result. With this type of risk for fire being present in Santa Monica, it is ludicrous to not know the status of your smoke detector system. For the sake of your own well being, family and friends one should have confidence that in a fire it will function. This risk we discussed can be reduced by hiring an electrician in Santa Monica, CA to evaluate your system and perform any needed electrical repairs or upgrades. Although there are many electricians in Santa Monica, I’ve been so pleased with H Electric and the quality of work they do that I’ve found no need to search around on the Internet any longer for electrician Santa Monica.
Each of the basic types of smoke detectors will have their own advantages and disadvantages, but they are basically ionization and photoelectric. The photoelectric is typically the more expensive of the two and a little more sophisticated. The ionization type in basic terms detects change of electric current flow caused by smoke passing between two electrically charged plates. These are more sensitive to the false alarms that are caused during cooking. The photoelectric is commonly known to see the smoke. It basically detects light reflections when smoke enters the sensor. In general operation, no reflection takes place unless something enters the sensor. This type is more susceptible to dust and debris type false alarms. Combination Ionization and Photoelectric smoke alarms exist that take advantage of both technologies. Another product you will find on the market is a combination of smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alarm. In case you did not know, carbon monoxide is the odorless and tasteless gas that is toxic to humans and animals in high quantities. Common sources that create the gas are fuel burning appliances like ranges, water heaters, fireplaces and automobile exhaust brought in through garages. The point isn’t to advise you of your needs, but make you aware of the risks and some possible technologies available. In this way, when you are talking with your local Santa Monica electrician (or in my case H Electric, a trusted Santa Monica electrician), you’ll have a better understanding of exactly what is going on. And if you’re in the Santa Monica area, the best thing to do is to hire a Santa Monica electrician like H Electric. They will come out and evaluate your electrical situation and make recommendations. Within a short time they’ll find out if you have any electrical safety issues that require the attention of a licensed Santa Monica electrician. So now you may be thinking: why would I need an electrician in Santa Monica to evaluate my smoke detectors when I can change batteries and mount a detector or two? The problem in most cases is that installation of smoke detectors can often be done incorrectly, or they can be installed in bad locations. Electricians are knowledgeable in this area because they’re required to pass an exam and they must also know all of the electrical building codes. These electrical codes are constantly updated in order to increase safety, and knowledge of this information is just one more reason why your electrical safety should be left in the hands of trained professionals.
Many older homes have battery type smoke detectors, and some have smoke detectors that are hard wired. For safety reasons, the building code started requiring that all new construction have hard wired smoke detectors with battery backups. Above we discussed the cause of fires being a result of faulty wiring. With a hard wired system, guess what doesn’t operate in that scenario – the smoke detector! If the new electrical code is requiring it, then it might be a good idea to go ahead and do these types of updates to your own home.
The other point to make is that technology has changed – just like the building codes. For example, compare the difference in a 1980’s computer to one built in 2011. So, if you don’t know if you have an updated smoke system in your home, or if you don’t know when it was installed, you should probably call H Electric in Santa Monica, CA and have them fix you right up. Don’t put yourself at risk with electrical guesswork. For your own peace of mind, get your smoke detectors checked out by a licensed and bonded Santa Monica electrician – call H Electric of Santa Monica, CA.