Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors

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Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless flammable gas that is slightly less dense than air and is fatal to humans even in extremely small doses. Carbon monoxide is the most common type of air poisoning in many countries. However, carbon monoxide poisoning can be prevented entirely with the use of a simple carbon monoxide detector.

Is your home safe?

Due to the fact that carbon monoxide is impossible to detect for a human, it can be very important to prepare for a mishap. Not only is it impossible to detect without the proper device, but you could potentially die in your sleep from it before you even exhibit symptoms. If you are awake and experience any of these symptoms, it could be from carbon monoxide:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Sleepiness
  • Fatigue
  • Lightheadedness
  • Vomiting
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Confusion
  • Chest Pain

Where does Carbon Monoxide come from?

Carbon monoxide can be produced by any fuel-burning device. Some of the main sources in your home include furnaces, dryer vents in a drying machine, fireplaces or chimneys. If any of these are in areas with poor ventilation, carbon monoxide can build up and cause issues. It is important to have these regularly serviced and cleaned by a professional to help prevent any potential issues. 

What can you do to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning?

  • Have CM detectors installed in your home… At the very minimum one per level of your home and one outside each bedroom
  • Have your appliances checked by a professional at least once per year
  • Be sure to use proper ventilation when using your fireplace
  • Check and change the batteries every 6 months
  • Never run a generator or vehicle inside, even if the garage is open
  • Do not use flameless chemical heaters indoors
  • Only use grills outside with proper ventilation
  • If you can’t afford a CM detector, contact your local fire department. They have programs set up to help out

Smoke Detectors

On average seven people die per day in U.S. home fires and over the course of each year $6.7 billion in damages occur. The easiest way to prevent a fire from affecting you or your loved ones is with the use of smoke detectors!

In many places, they are required by law but you should always make sure you have them in the proper areas and they are up to date and functional!

The two different types of smoke detectors

Photoelectric

  • Responds to a reduction in light caused by smoke entering an internal photocell
  • Responds quickly to smoldering fires
  • Less likely to send out a false alarm
  • One downside is this type will not tell you when the batteries are dead

Ionization

  • Passes a current between two electrodes and responds to a disruption of this current when smoke enters the smoke detector
  • Less expensive and responds faster to fires
  • When the batteries start to fail the alarm will sound, notifying you that it is time to change them
  • The biggest flaw is it can’t tell the difference between smoke and steam, so it will give you false alarms

Where should I place my smoke detectors?

The best places for smoke detectors include bedrooms, stairways, halls, and garages. The national fire protection agency recommends replacing them every 10 years. Make sure your family is safe, have Ru-Electrical come check out your home!

Here are some tips to make sure your home is as safe as possible:

  • Have at least one smoke detector per floor in your home
  • Never place them in drafty areas(near doors or windows)
  • Always check and change your batteries at least once per year, preferably twice per year
  • Clean your smoke detectors regularly with your vacuum to prevent the build-up of dust
  • Always have at least one fire extinguisher somewhere in your home
  • Create an emergency plan with your family in the event of a fire
  • If you can’t afford one, contact your local fire department because they have programs to help people

How do you know if your smoke alarm is working?

The first step is to use the press to test button on the smoke alarm. The alarm should go off and will let you know if the battery is connected and working. The second step is to light a match near it and see if it will make it go off. If not, blow it out and see if the smoke from the match will cause it to sound. If it still won’t go off, you may have a faulty alarm that will need to be replaced. Remember, just because it appears to be on, does not mean it is working properly.

There is no reason at all to put your family and your possessions at risk, when such easy steps can be taken to prevent disaster. Contact Ru-Electrical to check your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and give your family peace of mind!