Mission Electrician

Smoke Alarms and Co2 Detectors

Carbon Dioxide (Co2) is a non-flammable, colorless, and odorless gas that was identified by a Scottish chemist in the 1750s. When an excessive amount of Co2 builds up in a confined area such as your home, it will lower the concentration levels of oxygen in the air.

During a house fire, oxygen is used by the fire as a fuel source and the fire expels Co2 in equal amounts to the oxygen that is consumed. This creates a dangerous cycle that can quickly deplete oxygen levels in a home and eventually lead to unconsciousness or asphyxiation if anyone should remain in the dwelling for too long after a fire begins.

With an indoor fire, the smoke is actually quite hot and poisonous and because of this, smoke inhalation is the number one cause of death for in home fires.

For the reasons outlined above, installing Co2 detectors and smoke alarms are extremely important for the safety of your family. Functioning smoke alarms reduce the risk of death as a result of a home fire by as much as 50%.

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The Top Ten Reasons to Install or Update Co2 and Smoke Alarms:

  1. 1) You have only one or worse, no smoke alarms currently installed in your home.
  2. 2) The smoke alarm or Co2 detector you have is constantly chirping, which is often a sign that the batteries are low or the detector itself may need replacement.
  3. 3) Your Co2 detector and smoke alarm have not been recently tested.
  4. 4) Your smoke detector recently failed to function during a test and replacing the batteries did not change the status.
  5. 5) Older smoke detectors in your home may predate current smoke detection standards. It is suggested that you replace smoke detectors every 10 years.
  6. 6) Antiquated appliances (circa 1960s) that were in the home when you purchased it are more likely to initiate a fire than modern appliaces.
  7. 7) Older homes, in general, are more susceptible to fire than more recently constructed dwellings.
  8. 8) A home with outdated wiring such as knob and tube, or aluminum, can cause more electrical issues that lead to fire than homes with more current wiring.
  9. 9) Your insurance company may require functioning smoke detectors in your home, particularly if the home is within a certain age range.
  10. 10) You may be unaware of recent advances made in smoke detection such as photoelectric or ionization detectors. You also might not have heard about Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarms or the need for them.

What Type of Smoke Alarm Should I Purchase?

According to Consumer Reports Buyers Guide, there are 3 basic types of smoke alarms:

  1. 1) Ionization Alarms, which are best at detecting flaming fires.
  2. 2) Photoelectric Alarms, which are best at detecting slower, smoldering fires.
  3. 3) CO Alarms, which are best at detecting carbon monoxide emitted from fuel-burning appliances such as natural gas units (hot water tank, furnace, ranges), or devices such gasoline-powered generators (used during power outages), which may be running in an attached garage.

As present, there is not one single device that can effectively detect all three hazards, smoke, carbon monoxide, and Co2. Installing more than one type of alarm for each instance of potential risk is currently the best way to approach overall protection for your family and home.

For more information on Co2 detectors and smoke alarm installation, or if you have any questions regarding battery-powered versus electrically powered smoke alarms, contact our Abbotsford electricians Mike Speakman and Tristan McAllan today at 604-308-6195 or send us an email.

We can evaluate your home to determine the best solution to fit your family’s needs.

Premium Electric services communities throughout the Fraser Valley including Abbottsford, Mission, and Chilliwack. We also offer electrical safety inspections and 24-hour emergency electrical services.