Fire and Microwave Detectors for your Home Security

Fire and microwave detectors are part of packages offered by Life Shield home security systems, but how they work and what they do varies based on the components involved. If you want to learn more about Life Shield’s services, check their website: www.lifeshield.com.

On this page, we’ll break down how the most common ones operate and how companies integrate them into protection plans.

What are Fire and Microwave Detectors?

Fire and microwave detectors may be part of Life Shield home security systems or may work alongside the equipment you already have in place. In unmonitored setups, they may merely sound off an alarm when there are signs of a fire. With monitored setups, your alarm company will contact emergency services for help as well. If a particular system is designed to work with equipment you already have, it will likely “listen” for the siren from your existing alarm before making an emergency call. Those that work independently monitor for signs on their own.

How Do Traditional Fire Detectors Work?

Most household fire detectors don’t actually monitor for fire; they look for smoke. There are two main types which operate on similar principles.

Ionization Detectors: Ionization detectors have a chamber with a very small amount of a radioactive isotope known as Americium-241 in it. The material is safe and won’t harm your family—you’d have to open it and eat it, inhale it, or otherwise ingest it to cause a problem—but it does ionize particles (oxygen and nitrogen which are naturally in your home) that move through the chamber, meaning it removes an electron from them.

The electron has a negative charge and gets drawn to a positively-charged plate, while the positively-charged atoms get drawn to a negatively-charged plate. The plates are kept charged with a battery, so as long as it has a charge and your home has a steady supply of oxygen and nitrogen, the process continues indefinitely.

Of course, if the battery dies, the alarm will stop working, and if smoke enters the chamber, the process stops, it recognizes something is wrong and emits a sound to warn you. This type is specially-designed to catch rapid hot blazes that don’t create much smoke. However, because they’re so sensitive, they often react to any vapor, such as steam from hot showers, dust, and burnt dinners.

Photoelectric Detectors: As the name implies, photoelectric detectors use light to recognize smoke is in the air. A light-emitting diode (LED) shines inside it. When smoke comes through the chamber, it scatters the light and the light then hits a photocell, which then triggers an electrical current that sounds the alarm. This type requires a bit more smoke to scatter the light, so it works better at catching slow-burning fires that produce more smoke.

How Do Microwave Detectors Work?

When people ask about microwave detectors, they’re usually referring to microwave radiometers or MWRs. Without delving into a full science lesson, it’s a little difficult to explain the tech. However, it’s easy enough to say that microwaves are a major part of our lives, and not just for cooking food.

Microwaves are used in communication, including digital and analog transfers of voice, video, and data. Radar, such as Doppler radar which detects speed and is used in air traffic control, also relies upon microwaves. These devices measure the wavelength and frequency of microwaves as they bounce off an object, enabling the user to determine which direction the object is moving in and at what speed.

Because fires produce thermal radiation (aka heat) which creates a noticeable signal in the microwave portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, MWRs can pick up the change and therefore detect the fire. Although microwaves can’t penetrate metals, they can penetrate most other materials to varying degrees. This means that MWRs aren’t susceptible to false alerts for things like dust and steam. Researchers even believe they have a future in detecting fires through walls.

Do All Home Security Systems Include Them?

The science behind MWRs is still in it infancy, as researchers only started discussing the tech in the mid-1990s. Because of this, they’re not an option for home fire detectors as of yet, but they, as well as a whole lot of other new tech, may soon be available for homeowners.

Photoelectric and ionization detectors may be part of some home security systems, but more often than not, the systems require that you purchase and maintain your own smoke detectors. However, security system may be able to pick up on the alarm that goes off when smoke is detected and take appropriate action. Because each one operates a little differently, it’s important to get information that pertains to your particular system and components from your monitoring service or the manufacturer of the individual components.

 

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10 Innovative Ways to Make More Storage Space in Your Home

Got a home that seems like its shrinking? It could be that your home is running out of adequate storage space for all your precious stuff. For many, having enough storage space can be a real challenge. But, by adding more storage space and making a few minor improvements, you can make your life less stressful and actually increase the value of your home. Fortunately for you, there are some really innovative home storage options available on the market that anyone can take advantage of.
Turn your presently cramped home or apartment into a spacious environment with these ten creative and amazing storage solutions.

Door Storage Racks – There is a lot of space behind doors, in bedrooms, the bathroom, and even in the kitchen of your home. Use clever door storage racks that either use hooks to hang over the top of the door, or bolt to the surface of the door.

Door racks can turn a kitchen door into a make-shift pantry for holding spices. Bedroom and guest room racks can hold extra shoes, clothing and accessories.

 

Over Cupboard Baskets – In most kitchens and bathrooms, there is space to be found on the tops of wall cabinets. This is the perfect place to store items out of sight in baskets of all sizes. Try using your kitchen cabinet tops for holding pots and pans, extra canisters, baskets of cooking supplies, and wine bottles. Your bathroom cabinets can hold extra cleaning and bathing supplies, and towels safely out of sight.

Under Bed Containers – Every home has a large amount of available space under beds. Use bed risers to increase this space, and then add under bed storage containers to hold all matter of extra items, like shoes and out of season clothing and coats. Kids can pack away their toys, art supplies, and more.

Space Saving Clothing Bags – One of the most genius inventions to arrive on the market, that really helps to increase the storage ability of your home, is the space bag. Toss in your out of season clothes, extra bedding, curtains, pillows, and stuffed animals, then use your vacuum to remove air. Pack these flat bags under beds until you are ready to use these items again.

Closet Clutter Busters – Closets can easily turn into a real mess if you don’t take steps to keep them organized. To add more storage space, add a clever closet extender bar underneath your regular clothes bar, and use this to hang pants and skirts. Add shoe racks to the back of closet doors or in the bottom of your closets.

Wall Shelving – There are many innovative options in wall shelving units, from small single shelves to large leaning shelves. Add a few to your home, and watch it open up each room as items like books, music, art and office supplies find their rightful place. Use wall shelves in the bathrooms and kitchen too, for convenient storage.

Double-duty Furniture – Your home can become more organized when you replace worn out furnishings with those that offer more than one function. Try storage ottomans instead of coffee tables. Or use a storage bench near your entrance or in a bedroom to stow away extra blankets, shoes, mittens, and hats.  Tables can reveal hidden storage nooks for holding dinnerware and linens.

Mobile Storage Carts – There never seems to be enough counter space in most kitchens. This can be solved by adding a rolling storage cart that doubles as an extra counter top when needed. Hold your extra cookware and towels inside, or use as a place to keep cookbooks and other kitchen supplies.

Banquet Storage Drawers – In the dining room, replace chairs with a storage bench on each side of your table, or add a banquet area with a shelf to display table lamps, photos, and extra dinnerware and glasses.

Stow it Under Seats – In the family room of your home, get some extra storage by stowing away books, magazines, crafting materials, and remotes underneath chairs or the sofa using under bed boxes or trays. The good part is that they are always nearby when you need them.

Jewelry Mirror Magic – In your dressing room, instead of a plain wall mirror, why not add a wall-mounted jewelry box cleverly disguised as a full length wall mirror? This keeps your favorite jewelry neat and hung nicely so you can find what you need in a jiffy.

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