Smoke detectors make a difference between life and death

There are photoelectric and ionization detectors

EAST LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – A small device that can save lives. “They’re great safety devices. It alerts the occupants if there’s a problem.”

Building codes require most one and two-family homes to have smoke alarms, but there are different kinds you can get.

Most Hampden County fire departments recommend that you have photoelectric detectors. “Really great for smoldering fires, so very sensitive to those kinds of fires. For instance, if someone was smoking in bed or something, and the smoldering starts, smoke before fire, it’ll go off a lot quicker,” according to Mark Tetreault of the Rocky’s in East Longmeadow.

The other kind, ionization, detects flames. Nowadays, many alarms are equipped with both types of technology, and whether you should buy battery-operated or hard wired detectors depends on when your house was built.

Lt. CJ Bartone of the West Springfield Fire Department told 22News, “Any construction prior to 1975, you have to have battery operated smoke detectors in the hallways, or we say at least 10 feet from bedrooms. From 1975 to 1998, construction there, it should be hard wired.”

In newer homes, you are required to have detectors in your bedrooms as well.

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