Your CO Detectors And Smoke Alarms: Are They In The Right Places, And Are They Working?

co detectors and smoke alarms terre haute indianaCO detectors and smoke alarms are now standard equipment for home and family safety. Most local building codes mandate smoke alarms, and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors are increasingly common in residences. These units provide year-round safety against fire and potentially lethal gas. However, they are particularly critical in winter, when homes are closed up, and combustion from a gas-fired furnace, space heaters and other sources is ongoing. The main questions about CO detectors and smoke alarms are: what type, how many and where?

Alarm types
Smoke alarms are available in battery-powered models and models that hard-wire or plug into your home’s electrical system. Batteries should be replaced in smoke alarms once a year and tested by pressing the “Test” button on the face of the alarm every month. Hard-wired smoke alarms should also incorporate battery backup in the event the electricity goes out because of the fire.

Carbon monoxide (CO) detectors similarly are either battery-operated or connected to your home’s AC electrical power. The sensors in CO detectors have a shorter service life than smoke alarms and require replacement every five years. Many detectors incorporate a sensor module that allows replacing the sensor alone, instead of the entire unit.

How many and where?

One smoke alarm should be installed near the ceiling in every bedroom and in a hallway on each level of the home. One CO detector is sufficient for a relatively small single-story residence, preferably near the bedrooms. Add an additional unit per level of the home, or near any extra sleeping areas. Don’t install CO detectors or smoke alarms in kitchens, garages or bathrooms where they will be prone to generate false alarms. The exception is if you have an attached garage with a doorway into the kitchen. If possible, install a CO detector near the doorway, but several feet away from the oven or stove.

Hard-wired smoke alarms can be interconnected by running an additional wire between each alarm. This causes all alarms in the home to sound an alert when smoke is sensed by any one detector in the home. Smoke alarms are also available with visual indicators such as bright flashing strobe lights to alert residents with hearing loss.

At Paitson Bros. Heating & Air Conditioning, a tradition begun in 1922 continues in the Wabash Valley. Please call us to make sure your family is properly protected with CO detectors and smoke alarms.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about carbon monoxide detectors, smoke alarms and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

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