The winter months are deadly fire months in Ohio. Home fires are America's most common disaster accounting for 83 percent of all fire fatalities.

The winter months are deadly fire months in Ohio. Home fires are America's most common disaster accounting for 83 percent of all fire fatalities.

Smoke alarms are key detection and warning devices that save lives, but did you know there are two types of smoke alarms and two types of fires?

The ionization smoke alarm works best on flaming fires but has a delayed response to smoldering fires. These alarms also have a tendency to glitch, becoming nuisance alarms that result in dangerous battery removal.

The photoelectric alarm (light beams) work best in detecting smoldering fires.

Homes' structures have changed over the years from hard surfaces (think hardwood floors and furniture) to more soft and padded items (carpet and upholstered furniture). This change has resulted in more smoldering fires than flaming fires. With 90 percent of homes having ionization smoke alarms, the need for change is evident.

Although both ionization and photoelectric alarms meet the Residential Code of Ohio, Dublin's building-standards department recommends photoelectric smoke alarms installed in lieu of ionization devices in kitchen and bath areas. The remaining portion of all homes should be protected by smoke alarms utilizing both photoelectric and ionization technologies in a single smoke alarm. When a choice has to be made, residents should always choose the photoelectric smoke-alarm devices.

For more information on smoke alarms, contact the Dublin building-standards department at (614) 410-4670.

Jeff Tyler is Dublin's director of building standards.

Jeff Tyler