The Importance of Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector Installation

When you move to a new house, safety should be your number one priority. One of the most important steps to keeping your family safe in your home is to invest in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. 

If your primary source of heat comes from natural gas or a wood-burning stove, carbon monoxide detectors are absolutely crucial. Even if you live in a home without gas-burning appliances, carbon monoxide detectors are still a good idea.

With this in mind, here are some insights into the importance of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home.

Smoke Detectors

Smoke detectors are a crucial safety tool when it comes to the early detection of a fire in your home. 

In fact, in the United States alone, about 2,000 people die every year from residential fires, often at least in part due to injuries from the inhalation of smoke and toxic gasses. 

These deadly fires usually happen at night while the family is asleep. By the time the fire has spread enough for the smoke to wake them up, it may be too late for all of the family members to get out of the home. 

The best way to prevent damages or injuries from a fire is to have smoke detectors installed throughout your home. In case of a fire, these systems will let you know early enough to get your family and yourself to safety.

Where Smoke Detectors Should Be Installed for Maximum Safety

In order to maximize safety, a smoke detector should be installed in every bedroom of your home, preferably at the center of the ceiling or near the doorway. 

You should also have a smoke detector in the kitchen. Usually, it is best to put the detector on the ceiling a few feet away from your stove or microwave. That way, minor smoke rising up from a meal being cooked on the stove will not set off your alarms.

Do Not Neglect Smoke Detector Maintenance

Maintaining your smoke alarm detectors is just as important as installing them in the first place. First and foremost, you must make sure to replace the batteries of your detectors at least once a year. 

Another important thing to do is to have your smoke detectors tested every month to make sure they are running properly. For most alarm systems, all you will need to do is press a button on the unit to test it.

When you maintain your smoke detectors well, you can have peace of mind that if a fire were to happen, your detectors will be able to warn you in plenty of time to respond. In fact, properly maintained smoke detectors can reduce your risks of a fatality from a fire by nearly half.

Best Type of Smoke Detector for Your Home

There are two types of smoke detectors that you can buy: ionization and photoelectric. Ionization smoke detectors are usually designed to detect smoke produced by full-fledged fires. Photoelectric smoke detectors tend to respond faster to the smoke produced by smoldering fires than ionization smoke alarms.

Either type of smoke detector could be effective in the average home. However, you may not want to install an ionization smoke detector near your kitchen, as it is more likely to set off during cooking and grilling when there is no actual threat of a fire.

If you can, install interconnected smoke alarms. These alarms are designed to set off when smoke is encountered in any part of the house. They are wired into a system, usually with a battery backup, which means that you won’t have to worry about replacing the batteries as often.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Carbon monoxide detectors are essential for homes equipped with fuel-fired furnaces, gas stoves, dryers, and water heaters. They are essential to preventing life-threatening carbon monoxide inhalation. 

What Is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is a toxic odorless, colorless gas that can be deadly if it is inhaled in high quantities. It is a byproduct of the combustion that occurs within any fuel-burning appliance in your home.  While most appliances have systems in place to vent out carbon monoxide gas, buildup in the line or a leak can allow carbon monoxide to seep into a home unnoticed.

The symptoms of carbon monoxide intoxication include dizziness, lightheadedness, vomiting, fainting, and in the worst-case scenario, death.In fact, about 200 people are killed and 5,000 injured every year by accidental CO poisoning. These injuries are often caused by malfunctioning appliances and a lack of fresh air flowing into the home when leaks occur.

What Happens in Your Body After Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

Carbon monoxide prevents the blood from properly carrying oxygen to your vital organs, including the heart and brain. It hijacks the oxygen-carrying hemoglobin to create carboxyhemoglobin. This can happen very quickly if your home is not properly ventilated and you inhale the gas in high quantities. Death is likely if the concentration of carbon monoxide in your blood reaches 50%.

The Different Types of Carbon Monoxide Detectors

When it comes to carbon monoxide detectors, there are several different options to choose from. The two main types of detectors are those that operate on batteries and ones that tap into the electrical system. Carbon monoxide detectors that rely on an electrical current are usually equipped with a solid-state sensor that resets itself and resamples the air periodically. Battery-operated detectors use a passive sensor technology that sets off in the event of prolonged exposure to carbon monoxide in the air.

Regardless of which type you decide to install in your home, each system must meet certain sensitivity requirements that have been agreed upon by Underwriter Laboratories. When you purchase a new CO detector, always make sure that it is UL-certified. For added peace of mind, you may want to purchase a detector with a built-in digital screen, as they seem to be the most reliable option on the market.

Where to Place Your Carbon Monoxide Detector in Your Home

It is highly recommended to have a CO detector at every level of your home for maximum safety. You should also place one close to any major gas-burning appliance, including the furnace, water heater, or gas stove.

What to Do if Your CO Detector Goes Off

If your CO detector goes off, there is no need to panic. It is there to warn you before the air concentration becomes high enough to be threatening to you or your family! 

Have your family members step out of the home. Open up all of the windows, turn off your gas-burning appliances, and reset your detector. It is also a good idea to call in a local technician to examine your systems for leaks. If anyone does start to feel ill at any point with flu-like symptoms, it is a good idea to have them seen by a doctor.

All-in-One Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

If you want to kill two birds with one stone, it can be helpful to invest in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors that have both functions in a single device. That way, you can have peace of mind that you and your family will be safe in your own home at all times!

If you are looking for a trusted professional to install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your Medfield, MA, home, reach out to Paul Macrina Electrical Contracting today.  We will help you to explore the best locations for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and install them quickly and affordably. Give us a call today.