Smoke Detectors: What You NEED to Know

by Lynn on August 20, 2014

Smoke detectors save lives. Many people may be lulled into a false sense of security thinking they have smoke detectors in their home. Smoke detectors that are not installed or maintained properly are not safe. Here are a few tips on what you need to know about buying, installing, and maintaining your smoke detectors:

What should I buy?

The National Burn Institute recommends only buying smoke alarms tested by Underwriters Laboratories (UL). You will also want to make sure the smoke detector has a battery backup. Smoke detectors that don’t work in a power outage are no good. Consider buying a combination smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector, they may be more expensive, but well worth the money.

There are two main types of smoke alarms, which are categorized by the type of smoke detection sensor used in the alarm. They are ionization and photoelectric.

Ionization smoke detectors

Ionization detectors respond quickly to flaming fires with smaller combustion particles. They contain a chamber with two plates that generate a small, continuous electric current. When smoke enters the ionization chamber, the smoke particles disrupt the current flow, which triggers the alarm.

Photoelectric smoke detectors

Photoelectric detectors respond more quickly to smoldering fires. They use a light beam and light receptor. When smoke is present between the light and receptor, the photocell sensor triggers the alarm.

Combination smoke detectors

The best smoke alarms can sense both types of fires (flaming and smoldering). For the highest degree of safety and preparedness, there are combination smoke alarms also that combine ionization and photoelectric detectors into one unit, called dual sensor smoke alarms.

Check with your local fire department to see what kind of detector they recommend.

Installation and Maintenance

Smoke detectors should be installed on each floor, outside of every bedroom and sleeping area and near any air vents. Detectors should also be installed high on walls or on ceilings because smoke rises. Avoid installing detectors near windows, doors or where there are openings where smoke can escape.

Check with your local fire department for specific regulations on the placement of detectors.

Smoke detectors have a lifespan of about seven to 10 years, and it’s important to replace old detectors according to the model’s recommendations. Test your alarm’s batteries monthly and remember to replace all batteries at least once a year. Clean and vacuum the grill of your detector to get rid of dust and debris. Other maintenance includes a monthly testing of the alarm and cleaning with a vacuum hose about once every month.

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Buying Land Could Be Lucrative

by Lynn on August 13, 2014

There are many ways that you can invest in real estate. One way is by purchasing land. This option can be a very lucrative choice, as long as you keep the few important points in mind. The reason why purchasing land could be a viable option is because you get to pick your location, and build a home to your specs. This will allow you to find your own contractors to construct your building for you. By having full control over who you choose and what you pay, it becomes easier for you to save on costs.

Keep in mind that while you do have full control over who you choose to build on your property, it also means that there will be more responsibility hanging over your shoulders. For example, you would need to make sure that you have all the right permits to construct your building, and you also have to make sure that you choose the right contractors; otherwise the whole project can turn into a big catastrophe. Therefore, before deciding to purchase a piece of property that is completely void of any buildings, take some time to do some research, as this will save you a lot of headache in the long run.

Buying land in a down market can also be a great investment. Land is becoming harder to come by, which is creating a higher demand for land and in turn bringing the price up. Buying land now and holding onto to it could bring some great return. Think about it in 10 years from now there will be a lot less land and your lot could be worth a pot of gold. Invest now and reap the rewards down the road. Think of it like a savings account, you deposit money into a piece of land and watch your money grow!

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Selling Your Home When You Have Kids

August 6, 2014

Selling your home can be stressful enough but add messy kids to the mix and you have a challenge on your hands. But it can be easy to sell your home when you have kids if you do some small things to remedy clutter: Go through the toys and limit the number of toys that […]

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Getting Rid of Student Loans

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Ways to Update Your Bathroom

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Stop Summer Brain Drain

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Did you know that your kids can lose from one to three months of learning over the summer? Studies suggest kids lose the most in math. Don’t spend the summer going in reverse. There are many online sites that can help stop the summer brain drain. National Geographic Kids: offers great nature videos, activities, games, […]

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Tips on Taking Real Estate Photos

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There is truth in the  popular saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words”.  A picture reveals details in a way that words cannot describe. In the real estate business, we rely on photography to showcase the best features of the homes we are seeking to sell. Without quality pictures, it will be difficult for […]

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Save on Utility Bills

July 2, 2014

Did you know the average family spends over $1600 a year on utility bills alone?   Here are some simple steps you can take to not only save energy but also put some money back in your pocket. Put your thermostat to work The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recommends setting your air conditioner at 74 […]

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