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Defective BRK Smoke Detectors
If there is a house fire, we rely on the smoke detector to sound the alarm if we are in another part of the house away from the flames or are asleep. These detectors are supposed to alert us that smoke is in the air before the flames get to us, since it’s a fact that smoke incapacitates and kills more people than the actual flames do.
Ionization Smoke Detectors
One type of smoke detector people bring into their homes is something called an ionization smoke detector. The problem with ionization smoke detectors is that they detect heat instead of smoke. Ionization smoke detectors, like those manufactured under the BRK name, are likely to never alert people to smoke in the air, and make it impossible to save yourself or your loved ones.
Ionization detectors are good for detecting fast moving flames, but most fire victims die from smoke or toxic gases. Those who perish in house fires most likely are killed by one of these two things and are then burned after they have already died. Ionization smoke alarms do nothing if there is a smoldering fire caused by grease, faulty electrical systems, or even lit cigarettes. While these types of fires may cause extensive flame damage, they put off lots of smoke.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, nearly 96% of all homes in the U.S. have at least one smoke alarm. However, nearly one-fifth of these homes had smoke detectors that were not working. While this can be attributed to missing, disconnected or dead batteries, a small percentage of the failure of smoke detectors is due to defective units. Because people usually have less than three minutes to get to safety in a fire, due to fast moving flames, it is unsettling that ionization smoke detectors may not alert the occupants of a burning house until it is too late.
Photoelectric alarms are quicker to sense when there is smoke in the air, and there are smoke detectors made called dual sensor smoke alarms that used both ionization sensors for heat, and photoelectric sensors for smoke. The U.S. Fire Administration urges people to install smoke detectors with this dual technology in case of a house fire.
Fire Safety and Prevention
In addition to replacing ionization smoke detectors, like those made by BRK, the USFA recommends you:
- Plan an escape route and practice this more than once
- Make sure all family members know emergency telephone numbers and know when to use them
- Have a smoke detector placed on every level of your home, and placed inside and outside of sleeping areas since most fires begin late at night
- Check the batteries and test your smoke detector once a month
- Install fire extinguishers in the kitchen
- Consider installing a residential sprinkler system
- Install carbon monoxide detectors
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a defective smoke detector in the Mobile or Baldwin County, Alabama area, please contact the experienced defective product attorneys at Long & Waite, P.C.
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