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Smoke Detectors

How to pick a smoke detector for elderly

We recommend you purchase a smoke alarm system if you care for an elderly who sometimes needs to be left alone.

It pays to have a smoke detector as a preventative measure. A home fire is a potentially devastating event that can cause extensive property damage and personal injury.

That is even more true if you have an elderly relative who lives alone and would not sense and react quickly to a fire.

There are three types of alarms that can be installed in your home:

  • Battery powered;
  • Connected to the mains and with a backup battery;
  • Smoke alarms combined with a monoxide detector (recommended).

Your decision will depend, of course, on the needs of your older loved one, but also on the type of home you have and your budget.

In addition to these three basic types of smoke detectors, you may also want an alarm that can be seen and or heard by your elderly relative. Some detectors come with strobe lights that are extremely loud and even ones that can shake the bed.

Recommended mounting areas:

  • In every bedroom. Most experts recommend installing smoke detectors in every bedroom to ensure everyone wakes up in the event of a fire.
  • Outside of any sleeping area. While you may already have alarms in your bedrooms, installing smoke detectors in hallways and passages outside sleeping areas adds an extra layer of security. If the fire is outside the bedroom, the sensor will be able to detect smoke and wake people up.
  • The kitchen. For proper kitchen smoke detector placement, place the smoke detector high on a ceiling or wall, away from stoves.
  • The basement. Proper placement should include at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home, and this includes the basement, which often houses a boiler or water heater – both of which can become sources of fire.

A curious fact is that in some countries, there are fire departments and other organizations that provide free smoke detectors, which is certainly a good solution and can save lives.

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