A new requirement for home builders in Iowa takes effect this week that could end up saving lives. State Fire Marshal Jim Kenkel says dual-sensored smoke detectors will be required in all new home and building sites. The technology uses two sensors to detect both fast moving and slow building type fires.
"There’s ionization, which basically protects best against fast, flaming type fires. Then, there’s a photo-electric sensor to protect against slow, smoldering fires," Kenkel said. So far this year, there have been more than 30 fire fatalities in Iowa. Kenkel says more than 10 of the cases involved a home that did not have a working smoke detector.
"After October first, any new constructed residential property has to have a dual sensored smoke detector in it," Kenkel said. "And if you replace a smoke detector in your home, it needs to be dual sensored." Kenkel says other states recommend using the dual-sensor alarms, but Iowa may be the first to require them.
"None of the surrounding states of Iowa require it, but there are several states around the country that are recommending to their citizens that they purchase (dual sensored detectors) when they replace their (old detector)," Kenkel said. An online check of prices indicates that the dual sensored smoke detectors cost a little more than twice as much as the single sensor alarms.