If there is one device that you should not attempt to go cheap on, that would be the humble smoke detector. While it is true that it can be an annoyance when burning the pot roast, it can be a life saver at other times.
So spending a little extra to get a quality smoke detector is an investment in saving your and your families lives and isn’t that worth the money? Some of the best smoke detectors are those what also have other functions such as detecting carbon monoxide so, in effect, you get multiple life-saving technologies in one package.
How They Work
Smoke detectors work in one of two ways. One uses a radiation source and the other is a photoelectric version. Between the two, the most common and most sensitive is the one that uses a radiation source. Americium is a radioactive element that produces alpha particles. The particles then ionize one of two metal plates that then become charges and when smoke fills the chamber, it disrupts the charge, setting off the alarm. In the photoelectric version, light is used and when this light beam is interrupted by smoke it sets off the alarm. Granted, this version is not as sensitive as the one with the radioactive source and thus can only detect small, smoldering fires.
For home use, the one with the radioactive source is the better option as it can detect fast moving fires that don’t produce as much smoke. Of course, there is no reason to be concerned about the radioactive source as it is so small it won’t hurt you. These particles can’t even escape the plastic so they represent do danger to you or anyone else. What is important is that ever room and hallway should have a detector. Smoke detectors offer the peace of mind and security to help protect you and yours from the ravages of fire.
Five Great Smoke Detectors
Best Hardwire Ionization Smoke Alarm
Coming in sizes from a single pack to an eight pack, this ionizing alarm is sensitive and capable of detecting even minute amounts of smoke. This model – Firex/Kidde Model #i5000 Smoke Alarm is hardwired into the electrical system and it uses a nine-volt battery backup with a front loading door for easy access.
The sensor has a smart hush control for when a false alarm is encountered. It comes with the wiring harness for easy installation and the unit is backed by a ten year warranty. Those that purchase this model love how well it performs even when hit with small amounts of smoke.
Best Wireless Battery-Operated Smoke Alarm
The Kidde Model #RF-SM-DC Smoke Alarm is different from the Kidde Model above, in that these are an interconnected system that uses wireless technology to send messages back and forth. Each unit has a sensitive sensor that can easily be hushed in the case of false alarm by using the smart touch button.
This unit comes in a three pack and they all have battery backup and they communicate to an alarm center so they can be used in a garage or shed. These also meet UL requirements and can be converted to hardwire or used on battery alone. Those that have this model love the option to hardwire or stay on battery and they like the sensitivity of this model .
Best Micro Photoelectric Smoke Alarm
The First Alert Model #P1000 Smoke Alarm is a photoelectric model that is highly sensitive to slow, smoldering fires and it is perfect for home use. In addition, this model uses a special advanced technology to prevent alarms from cooking smoke and shower steam so this can even be used in the bathroom or kitchen with less false alarms.
It can easily be install with the smart clip system and it uses a long life lithium battery so you don’t have to change it every six months. Sensitive but powerful, this system can help protect your home. People who have this model remark they suffer less false alarms and are happy with the performance.
Best Photoelectric Smoke Alarm
Perfect for hard sleepers or for those who are hard of hearing, this photoelectric alarm – BRK Mmodel #7010BSL Smoke Alarm has a strobe light and battery backup to help keep your home safe. Sensitive, this alarm can pick up smoldering fires to give you ample time to evacuate and the strobe can help provide a visual signal to leave.
It uses only one hardwired connection for a simple and easy installation and it can be purchased as a single or in pairs. People who have this model love the strobe light features and enjoy how sensitive this model really is.
Best Smoke Detector for the Money
Backed by a seven-year warranty, this model – First Alert Model #SCO500B Smoke Alarm is a combination smoke, carbon monoxide detector that is part of an integrated, interconnected system. Meaning the more you have, the more they communicate with each other and the more accurate they are. These are voice operated systems and can tell you via voice the location of the trouble.
They can be hardwired or used on battery and they use your wifi system to help communicate and can notify you of a low battery condition. Powerful, these are sensitive devices that help protect your home with smart technology. People who have these love the voice prompts and the overall performance of these alarms.
Be sure to follow all manufacturer’s recommendations for the installation and care of your alarm to ensure that it is always functioning properly for your protection.