Humber fire causes spike in smoke detector sales

Posted at 7:48 PM, Feb 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-22 12:45:47-05

Friday’s deadly fire on Humber Avenue has prompted western New Yorkers to check their own smoke detectors. Managers at the Home Depot in Cheektowaga said smoke detectors sales have increased.

“It's unfortunate that something like this has to happen in order for us to realize what needs to be done to keep our family and property safe," said Mark Mungovan the assistant manager at Home Depot in Cheektowaga. 

Mungovan said the store typically sees smoke detector sales increase in the fall as people prepare to heat their homes. He told 7 Eyewitness News a steady stream of customers have been coming in, looking to replace older models and buy additional smoke detectors.

"In the end, if we keep remembering every month, bringing it up checking, and making it a routine in our normal lives, than I think we will be safe,” said Mungovan. 

Fire officials said it's important to check each smoke detector once a month and consider investing in a two-in-one carbon monoxide smoke detector with a longer battery life. That ensures the detector is working when you need it most.

According to this article from ConsumerReports, if you're headed to the store to buy a detector here's what you should look for: 

  • Fires burn differently: Some flare, some smolder. Make sure you purchase a smoke alarm that can detect both types of fires.
  • Ionization Smoke Alarms are best at detecting the small particles typical of fast, flaming fires but in our tests, all tested poorly for detecting smoky, smoldering fires. Ionization units are prone to false alarms from burnt food and steam, so don't mount them near a kitchen or bathroom.
  • Photoelectric Smoke Alarms are best at detecting the large particles typical of smoky, smoldering fires but poor at detecting fast, flaming fires. Photoelectric units are less prone to false alarms from burnt food and steam, so you can install them safely around the kitchen or bathroom.
  • Dual-sensor Smoke Alarms combine ionization and photoelectric technology to save you the hassle of installing two separate smoke detectors. But you will still need to install CO units.

According to ConsumerReports it may also be a good idea to bus a combination smoke and CO alarm. You should also consider the alarm type.

Some have strobe light alarms, voice alarms or safety light alarms.

You may also find more helpful information about detectors online at the National Fire Protection Association web page.

A donation page has been set-up to help Johnson's family. To help click here.