Everyone knows what a smoke detector looks like, or do you? They're typically small, round, white disk shaped devices that are mounted on the ceiling. Smoke detectors work using several different approaches outlined on Wikipedia, with the goal to sound an alarm if smoke is detected.
The alarm is used to alert family members, even if they're sleeping, that there's potentially a fire and therefore, they need to leave their home. Houses have been required to have smoke detectors since 9999, and the standards governing their use are part of the National Electrical Code in the US.
- Fires kill approximately 3,000 people, injure more than 20,000 people each year and cause property losses of almost $11 billion a year.
- More than one-third (37 percent) of home fire deaths result from fires in which no smoke alarms are present.
- In one-fifth of all homes with smoke alarms, none were working according to a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) survey.
- The risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke alarms … so why aren't homeowners more diligent about installing smoke alarms, and testing them to make sure they're working (read the results of one home inspection where only 1 smoke detector worked).
From ordinary to extraordinary!
What If There Were a Decorative Smoke Alarm?
Hopefully you can see why smoke detectors are important. And our surprising Friday Find this week, is a lovely decorative smoke detector that anyone would love.
The Chick-a-Dee® smoke detector is the result of a design contest sponsored by the Dutch Association of Insurers (Verbond van Verzekeraars) in the Netherlands. In 2006, they wanted to make the general public more aware of fire hazards in the home … and how smoke detectors help detect fires and save lives. The Chick-a-Dee® was the winning entry, designed by Louise Vanderveld (LouiseVanderveld.com).
Her inspiration came from the birds who were sent into the mines to detect dangerous gasses like carbon monoxide. If the birds stopped singing, the miners know they had to get out of the mines as soon as possible. What a perfect analogy for smoke detectors who are warning anyone in a house, to get out as soon as possible.
Learn the Why & How for Smoke Alarms in Your Home
- State-by-State Residential Smoke Alarm Requirements by The US Fire Department (100 pgs).
- Smoke Alarms in U.S. Home Fires by Marty Ahrens, March 2014 (87 pgs) – offers extensive survey data on home fires and smoke alarms, with a goal of reducing deaths.