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Buying Smoke Alarms

Choosing an Alarm

Be sure the smoke alarms you buy carry the label of an independent testing laboratory such as ULC or CSA.

Several types of alarms are available. Some run on batteries, others on household electric current. Some detect smoke using an "ionization" sensor, others use a "photoelectric" detection system. All approved smoke alarms, regardless of the type, will offer adequate protection provided they are installed and maintained properly.

A photoelectric alarm is recommended for areas that are prone to nuisance alarms such as kitchens and outside bathrooms. 

Is One Enough?

Every home should have a smoke alarm outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. On floors without bedrooms, alarms should be installed in or near living areas, such as dens, living rooms, or family rooms. Read about new Smoke Alarm Legislation.

Be sure everyone sleeping in your home can hear your smoke alarms. If any residents are hearing-impaired or sleep with bedroom door closed, install additional alarms inside sleeping areas as well. There are special smoke alarms for the hearing impaired that flash a light in addition to sounding an audible alarm.

For extra protection, fire departments suggest installing alarms in dining rooms, furnace rooms, utility rooms and hallways. Smoke alarms are not recommended for kitchens, bathrooms or garages - where cooking fumes, steam or exhaust fumes could set off nuisance alarms.


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