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50% chance of working during a fire?

I heard that fact Sunday night and I just couldn't believe it! What am I talking about? Did you know that your smoke detector has only a 50% chance of working during a fire? As soon as I heard that, I drove home and looked up the manufacture's website and here is what is says, "the chances are better than 50/50 that your alarm has failed".


That, to me, is a scary number and it also tells me that we should have more than one smoke detector in the home at all times. When I read that, I immediately went and bought 4 fire alarms. Those work on heat, not smoke. When the pin gets too, hot the pin melts and the alarm sounds. No electronic parts, it works like the old alarm clocks. You have to wind it up to make it work. The pin that I bought melts at 175° and has a .0001 failure rate.

So, you may want to check your smoke detector and read the instructions. That scary fact comes from underwriter's laboratories and is the number for all smoke detector brands.



Respect Realty LLC (Expect More)


At Respect Realty, LLC our agents believe in 100% dedication to client satisfaction.  We specialize in property and land acquisition around the Portland Metro and Vancouver, WA area. We delight in working with first time home buyers and sellers to guide them from start to finish. Our doors are always open and we are always happy to assist you with your real estate questions.


Reach out today, we look forward to talking with you!


Todd Clark and Seraina Aguayo (Owners of Respect Realty)

Respect Realty LLC (Expect More)



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Comment balloon 13 commentsRespect Realty LLC • September 20 2007 11:19AM


Makes you think twice about feeling safe in your home, even with a fire alarm. Thanks for the great post.
Posted by Anderson SC Realtor Blaine Wimberly (ERA Kennedy Group Realtors(r)) over 11 years ago
Yikes! Great information... I had absolutely no idea. It makes me curious whether that number improves with alarms that are hardwired vs. battery operated.
Posted by Jennifer Monroe, Real Estate REALTOR®/Broker in Beautiful Charlotte (Savvy + Company Real Estate) over 11 years ago

Blaine - Not a problem Blaine, I just hope more people realize there is a safer product out there.


Posted by Respect Realty LLC, Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate (Respect Realty LLC) over 11 years ago

Jennifer - Hard wired or battery it doesn't matter! It uses the same sensors to watch for smoke. That is why a heat one is so much better. Put it in your attic where most fires spread to first can save lives!

Posted by Respect Realty LLC, Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate (Respect Realty LLC) over 11 years ago
Todd, This is an eye opener and your post may save someone's life.  Thanks for posting it.
Posted by Candy Henthorne, Spring Texas Real Estate (Results Realty) over 11 years ago
I have hardwired alarms and battery powered ones in my house.  I figure if one fails the other will go off.
Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 11 years ago

Todd - A local news reporter here in Ft. Worth did a report on children and smoke alarms..they DON'T HEAR them!!  The kids would sleep right through that awful noise. It was very frightening and the homes where they tested them, the parents were totally freaked out. I would have been, too. You think you are protecting your family and you're not protecting your most precious things.

They've come out with talking smoke alarms for children which seem to work. I'm sorry I don't know who came out with them, but I'm sure your local fire department would know the manufacturer.

Scary stuff!

Posted by Linda Scanlan (A Fan of AR) over 11 years ago

Wow!! Thanks for posting this, because I never knew what the rate was. That is very scary!!

Nicole Garner

Posted by Nicole Garner (Not Available) over 11 years ago
WOW! I think I will be doing the same thing. I have Bridget and the 2 kids at home, I can't let anything happen to them!!
Posted by Rick Grand (nowhere) over 11 years ago

Candy - I really hope it does!

Patricia - The more you have in your home the better!

Linda - You are so right about kids! I did the same thing as a kid. My brother hurt himself and the medics showed up sirens going and came into my room turned on lights and I never woke up! They even took my brother to the hospital. It is really amazing what kids can sleep through!

Nicole - I was amazed by the number also!

Rick - The heat alarm is only about $100 bucks and well worth it!

Posted by Respect Realty LLC, Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate (Respect Realty LLC) over 11 years ago

Thanks for sharing, Todd. Who would have known...


diva sig 

Posted by LaShon James-Major, Long Beach Mobile Notary - 562.314.4319 (The Document Diva) over 11 years ago
Lashon - Apparently the companies that make them know! But, they sure don't make it easy to find the information.
Posted by Respect Realty LLC, Brokers - Oregon / SW Washington Real Estate (Respect Realty LLC) over 11 years ago
Thanks Todd I would have never known. This is a important piece of info to share with people.
Posted by Ann Krewson, A.L.I. Designs; Staging Houston Homes; Allied Member of A.S.I.D. (A.L.I. Designs, Inc.) over 11 years ago

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