Installing Smoke Alarm and CO Detector Devices
Do you have more than one CO detector or smoke alarm in your home?
Top 10 Reasons to Install or Update Them
- You have only one or worse, no smoke alarms currently installed in your home.
- The smoke alarm or CO detector you have is constantly chirping, which is often a sign that the batteries are low or the detector itself may need replacement.
- Your CO detector and smoke alarm have not been recently tested.
- Your smoke detector recently failed to function during a test and replacing the batteries did not change the status.
- Older smoke detectors in your home may predate current smoke detection standards. It is suggested that you replace smoke detectors every 10 years.
- Antiquated appliances (circa the 1960s) that were in the home when you purchased it are more likely to initiate a fire than modern appliances.
- In general, older homes (with old electrical wiring) are more susceptible to fire than more recently constructed dwellings.
- An older home with outdated wirings such as knob and tube wiring or aluminum wiring can cause more electrical issues that lead to fire than newer homes with wiring that is up to code. Ask us about wiring upgrades.
- Your insurance company may require functioning smoke detectors in your home (and CO detectors), particularly if the home is within a certain age range.
- 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.
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Smoke Alarms & CO Detectors
Danger of Breathing CO
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, and extremely toxic gas produced by burning gasoline, wood, propane, charcoal or other fuel – in other words, nearly all the heat-producing appliances in your home will produce carbon monoxide. Improperly ventilated appliances and engines, particularly in an enclosed space, like a house, may allow carbon monoxide to accumulate to dangerous levels.
Carbon monoxide poisoning can occur when too much carbon monoxide in the air then begins to build up in your bloodstream as you breathe it in – your body replaces the oxygen in your red blood cells with carbon monoxide. This can lead to serious tissue damage, or even death.
The Danger of Smoke Inhalation
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 CO 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%.
What Type of Smoke Alarm Should I Purchase?
According to Consumer Reports Buyers Guide, there are 3 basic types of smoke alarms:
- Ionization Alarms, which are best at detecting flaming fires.
- Photoelectric Alarms, which are best at detecting slower, smouldering fires.
- 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 CO. 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.
CO & Smoke Detector FAQs
What does it mean if my smoke detector is beeping?
Usually, if you have a low battery, your smoke alarm or CO detector may begin to beep. If the beeping won’t stop even after changing the battery, your CO or smoke detector may be defective and may need to be replaced.
How often do CO and Smoke Detectors need to be replaced?
CO detectors and smoke alarms do have a life span and most should be replaced within the first 10 years.
Can I use battery-powered smoke detectors?
A stand-alone battered powered smoke detector is not as reliable. Also, the advantage of using wired-in smoke detectors is that they can be interconnected with other smoke detectors throughout the building so that if one alarm goes off, they all go off.
For more information on CO 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.
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, Aldergrove, Maple Ridge, Langley, Surrey, and Chilliwack. We also offer electrical safety inspections and 24-hour emergency electrical services.