Different smoke alarms could better protect your family

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Many Region 8 residents may have turned on their heat because of the recent cooler temperatures.

Doing so for the first time in months could pose certain dangers to homeowners.

Fire-related deaths are more likely to occur in the fall and winter months because of home appliances, like heaters.

That's why it's important to have working, reliable smoke alarms.

"The cheapest form of life insurance anyone can have is a working smoke alarm," said Jonesboro Fire Marshal Capt. Jason Wills.

However, different types of smoke alarms could serve as better life insurance.

The two main options, ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms, detect different types of fires. According to the National Fire Protection Association, ionization smoke alarms are generally more responsive to flaming fires, where as photoelectric smoke alarms respond better to smoldering fires.

Since homeowners cannot predict what type of fire may start in their home, the U.S. Fire Administration recommends to have both ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms or dual-sensor smoke alarms, which contain both sensors.

"One in each room and one in the hallway that would adjoin it so that if a person sleeps with their door closed, you've got protection on both sides," Wills said. "When they're needed the most is typically when people are asleep. That's where we recommend they be located is where a person is sleeping."

It costs to be safe. According to the USFA, ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms cost $6 and up. The dual-sensor alarms are quadruple the price, and the price keeps going up with more advanced technology, such as smoke detectors with microprocessors or wireless smoke alarms.

However, when it comes down to life or death, it pays to be safe.

"It pays big dividends and it could save your life," Wills said.

During these colder months, it is also imperative that homeowners have working carbon monoxide detectors.

For more information on these safety precautions, visit the U.S. Fire Administration website and the National Fire Protection Association website.

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