Finding Smoke, Saving Lives - FOX 18 Quad Cities News and Weather

Finding Smoke, Saving Lives

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This week's tragic fatal fire in Sherrard is bringing fire safety to the front of many people's minds now. Some indispensable gear, smoke alarms, are now better than ever, thanks to new technology.

Newer detectors are using sensitive beams of light to detect any smoke particles that could be in the air - possibly detecting fires before they spread - and saving lives.

Laws in Iowa have been changed to require these new detectors in all commercial businesses.

They are called photo-electric detectors, and while they may cost a little more than a traditional smoke alarm, they are specially made to detect fires while they are still smoldering, fighting for oxygen.

According to the Deputy Chief in the Moline Fire Department, conventional alarms work well to detect smoke that may be in your home, but newer devices are coming out that have both new and old technologies together in the same device. The different technologies search for smoke in different ways, to find any problems as soon as possible.

Around the QCA, people are starting to put the new technology in homes, trying to do anything to avoid a tragedy.

"I respect my tenants. To find a good tenant is very hard now a days, and I want to keep them. I don't want them burned up. I don't want them down here like in Sherrard, Illinois. That is just completely unreal," said John Scheetz, a landlord who just installed the new smoke detectors in all of his properties in Davenport.

"My thing is, 'let's keep people updated where we're at today,'" he added.

With the new photo-electric detectors, it is recommended that people test them once a week and clean them once a month to make sure they are working properly.

Fire officials tell us that no matter what smoke detector you have, changing the batteries on the device twice a year - every time you reset your clocks for Daylight Saving Time - should keep it working properly.


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