There are two types of fire alarm systems that exist: heat detecting and smoke detecting. Both types of systems have their advantages. The most important issue of fire detection systems, however, is making sure they work. Make scheduled tests and battery changes of your alarms. Each time you do a domestic task, such as taking out your trash, test your alarm. Most alarms have a test button. If the alarm is functioning, it will sound when the test button is pushed. The fire protection industry standard for changing the batteries in your alarm is when the clocks change with daylight savings, in October and in April. Be sure to change the batteries at least in accordance with the industry standards. Fire and smoke detectors are relatively inexpensive and have saved many lives. Not only are fire detectors recommended, but in some living situations the law demands them. A building catches fire every fifty seconds in the United States. According to the National Fire Protection Association, a small investment in a smoke detector can reduce the risk of dying in a building burning by fifty percent. Check your local laws concerning fire detectors, or ask a fire protection system expert for more information.