How to Choose a Smoke Alarm
Shared by: jya95852
How to Choose a Smoke Alarm Your application or local codes will drive what type of alarms to choose. Whether you’re replacing existing alarms or adding in new, follow these simple steps: 1 Determine 2 Determine 3 Determine Primary Battery Sensor Application: Type: Type: Battery Operated Battery Operated Battery Operated • Existing Multi-family/single family • Carbon Zinc (standard life) lasts at • Ionization: Widely used sensor for (no code for wired-in alarms) least 1 year many applications, detects small • Replacement of existing battery • Alkaline (extended life) lasts about particles produced by flaming fires. operated. 2 years • Photoelectric: Detects large • Interconnected alarms not required • Removable Lithium (long life) lasts particles produced by smoldering 6-10 years fires. Better for nuisance control • Sealed Lithium (true 10 year) lasts around kitchens and baths. at least 10 years Required by code in some areas of country like Massachusetts. Wired-in Wired-in Wired-in • Replacement of existing wired-in • AC only: Where codes allow such • Photoelectric or Ionization (see • New construction or remodel (code as some motel/hotel applications. above) driven) Will not operate without AC power. • Need to have interconnected • AC with battery backup: Required alarms either by choice or required by most codes today. Provides by code. alarm function when power is out. Wireless Wireless Wireless • Existing Multi-family/single family Choose either • Photoelectric or Ionization (see (no code for wired-in alarms). • Battery operated above) Exception: Wireless alarms with • Wired-in with battery backup (bridge both wireless and wired-in features. unit). • Need interconnected alarms but can’t easily pull wires through existing walls or ceilings. • Use to bridge between floors • Use to bridge between old and new construction • Use to bridge between wired-in and battery operated • Generally more expensive per alarm but savings are realized through retrofitting costs savings in time, materials and labor.