Smoke detector users can obtain additional protection by installing heat detectors in unoccupied areas where smoke would be contained and delayed in reaching remote smoke detectors.
These areas include attics, garages, furnace or utility rooms, or any other small room normally closed off from the main portion of the house (by a closed door, for example).
In fact, some smoke detector manufacturers do not recommend placing their units in attics, garages, or furnace and utility rooms due to smoke detector sensitivity to temperature extremes and/or fumes.
Smoke from fires originating in these areas generally will not be detected by smoke detectors until they break into the living area (already protected by smoke detectors).
Therefore, these additonal heat detectors may impact on life safety.
Early warning of fires in both occupied and unoccupied areas could reduce property loss.
Prospective heat detector purchasers should look for units with the largest UL spacing rating than the larger the rating, the more rapid the heat detector response.
Extensive field tests show that installing a smoke detector on every level of a house provides the best all-around protection for the least investment. Though a smoke detector in every room will provide the fastest detection times, the modest increase in escape time may not justify the additional expense.
At the minimum, users should install a smoke detector in the hallway outside each sleeping area. The detectors should be close enough to the bedrooms so that the alarm can be heard with the bedroom door closed.
People who normally, sleep with the bedroom door closed may wish to consider adding an additional detector inside the bedroom.
Since many home fires start in basements, homes with basements should have a detector on the basement ceiling at the entrance to the steps.
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