In 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that on average in the United States, someone died in a fire every 169 minutes, and someone was injured every 30 minutes. The CDC also reported that 85% of all U.S. fire deaths occur in homes, which is why it is important to have a smoke detector in your home.
Working smoke alarms dramatically reduce the incidence of burn injuries and fatalities if there is a fire in your home. A functioning smoke alarm can turn an otherwise fatal fire into a survivable one. There is almost nothing more devastating than an accident that could have been prevented and our team of lawyers at McEldrew Purtell are here to help you bring a defective product claim against the smoke alarm manufacturer.
Don’t hesitate to contact our team today by filling out our form or calling (215) 545-8800. We are hard-working lawyers for hard-working people.
Types of Smoke Detectors
There are two types of smoke alarms on the market:
- Ionization alarms – detect heat
- Photoelectric alarms – detect smoke
The ionization alarm is beneficial for fast burning, heat-intense fires that do not produce a significant amount of smoke. This alarm has a chamber with two plates that produce electric currents. When smoke enters the chamber, the current is disrupted, setting off the alarm. It is best at sensing fast-moving fires, but has huge shortcomings in detecting smoldering, slow moving fires. These types of fires can go completely undetected by an ionization alarm.
The photoelectric alarm is the best option for detecting smoky, slow-burning, smoldering fires. This type of alarm works by using a beam of light and a light receptor (or photocell). When smoke appears between the light and the receptor, the receptor signals the photocell sensor to set off the alarm.
Problems with Ionization Alarms
Ionization detectors are the most common type on the market, however, the majority of home fires start at night while we sleep and are low heat, smoldering fires which result in the ionization detector’s being worthless. Testing has shown a fire can smolder and produce deadly amounts of smoke for more than half an hour, with an ionization detector never sounding. There is no way to predict what type of fire you could have in your home, therefore, you should have both technologies installed for the maximum amount of protection.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury from a fire in your residence or a fatality, you may have a defective smoke alarm case. It is important that you understand what options you have for compensation. Don’t hesitate to contact our team today by filling out our form or calling (215) 545-8800. We are hard-working lawyers for hard-working people.