Smoke Detector Information


In the event of a fire, properly installed and maintained smoke alarms will provide an early warning alarm to escape your household.  This alarm could save your own life and those of your loved ones by providing the chance to escape.

Did you know?

  • every year nearly 3,000 Americans die in home fires. Last year, more than 100 of those were Ohioans.
  • more than 75% of Ohio’s fatal fires occur in homes without working smoke alarms.
  • working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a fire by half.
  • fires double in size every 45 to 60 seconds…the best chance for escape is with a smoke alarm’s early warning.
  • in Ohio, cooking is the leading cause of residential fires and smoking is the leading cause of residential fire deaths.
  • smoke detectors must by working to save lives.  Families should test alarms monthly, replace batteries twice a year, and replace the smoke detectors every 10 years.

What types of Smoke Alarms are available?

There are many different brands of smoke alarms available on the market by they fall under two basic types: ionization and photoelectric.

Ionization alarms sound more quickly when a flaming, fast moving fire occurs.  Photoelectric alarms are quicker at sensing smoldering, smoking fires.  For the best protection, both types of alarms or combination ionization and photoelectric alarms are recommended.

Most fires that occur in residences start out as smoldering ignition fires.

In a study conducted by Texas A&M, the probability of failure of the PHOTOELECTRIC SMOKE DETECTOR in the smoldering fire was only about 4% where the ionization smoke detectors failure rate was over 55%!

In smoldering fires, PHOTOELECTRIC SMOKE DETECTORS were seen to respond 12-30 minutes quicker (depending on distance to fire) than ionization smoke detectors.

To assure that the detector is PHOTOELECTRIC, check the box or label for the word PHOTOELECTRIC or the symbol (P).