In the United States, thousands of house fires occur every year. In some places, newer homes are required to have hard-wired smoke alarms interconnected so they all sound if one is triggered. However, many older properties don’t have this life-saving feature. Let’s look at the importance of smoke detectors in the home. Here are the benefits of having working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your living spaces.
Smoke Detectors in the Home Save Lives
According to the NFPA, two-thirds of fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms. A functional detector significantly increases your chances of surviving a house fire. These devices provide an early warning so you and your family can exist the home and call emergency services. Install detectors on the ceiling or high on the wall. Keep them away from ceiling fans, HVAC vents, and windows because the airflow in these areas can affect the device’s ability to detect smoke.
Hard-wired, interconnected smoke alarms will sound no matter where the fire occurs. The detectors alert throughout the home, increasing the chance you’ll hear the warning and escape the fire.
Install Both Ionization and Photoelectric Alarms
Ionization smoke alarms are better at detecting fast-flaming fires that produce little visible smoke soon after igniting. Photoelectric alarms are better at detecting smoldering fires with large amounts of smoke over a longer time.
For best results, install both types of alarms in your home. If you have only ionization or photoelectric alarms, purchase and install smoke detectors of the other variety. Different systems will guarantee you’re alerted to the danger of fire, no matter the type.
Replace Smoke Detectors in the Home Every 10 Years
To ensure optimal performance, replace ionization and photoelectric alarms every ten years. Most devices include a date on the back, so you’ll know when to replace it. If you can’t remember when you purchased an alarm, replace it immediately.
If an alarm “chirps” to signal low battery power, it’s time to swap out the batteries. Additionally, never paint over or disable a smoke alarm; doing cause the alarm to fail to function correctly if a fire breaks out.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Carbon Monoxide is an invisible gas that’s produced whenever a fuel such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil, or methane burns. This gas can quickly build up to dangerous levels in enclosed or partially enclosed spaces.
CO is colorless and odorless, making it impossible to detect without a carbon monoxide detector. Pregnant women and young children are especially vulnerable to carbon monoxide poisoning. Installing carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home is essential for keeping your family safe.
An ounce of prevention goes a long way, especially when protecting your family from house fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. Taking simple preventive measures and ensuring your home has working smoke and CO detectors on every level gives you peace of mind knowing you’re keeping your home and your loved ones safe.