When it comes to home fires, there are two categories, based on the way the fire starts and burns. There are flaming fires and smoldering fires.
"The majority of deaths are actually caused by the smoke inhalation, not by the fire itself, "said Melissa walker with Protect America, a home security company based in Austin,
Because smoke can be more dangerous than the flames, there are two types of fire detection technology on the market. According to the national fire protection association, every home should be equipped with smoke detectors that have ionization technology for flaming fires, and photoelectric technology for smoldering fires.
Walker demonstrated for us how the company's photoelectric smoke detector senses a smoldering fire. It only took a few seconds for the detector to pick up the small amount of smoke.
You can find detectors equipped with the dual technology at any hardware store, but there are benefits to owning one through companies like Protect America. If you're not home and a fire is detected, you will receive a detailed text message to your phone.
"It will let the homeowner know exactly what is going on with the fire," said Walker.
If you are home the information travels to a central control panel, which will then alert first responders, giving families more time to escape.
Fire fighters recommend you check and change the batteries in your smoke detectors every six months. They also say, don't just have an escape plan, but practice it as well.