Where To Install Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors can save your property, your home, and your life. They won’t work properly, however, unless you know where to install them. If you need help installing new detectors, check out our special on smoke and carbon monoxide detector installation.
Smoke Alarms Save Lives
Smoke alarms are an inexpensive, easy way to prevent dangerous fires. Here are some facts from the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) that show how well they work:
• Smoke alarms alerted the residents to fires in 75% of all home fires.
• More than half of fire deaths happened in homes where the alarms weren’t working properly.
• In tests, hardwired smoke alarms worked 94% of the time, and battery-powered alarms worked 82% of the time.
Protect Yourself from Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas that can come from furnaces, water heaters, and other appliances. Cars running in enclosed spaces can produce dangerous amounts of CO.
CO poisoning is the top cause of poisoning deaths in the country. Every year, more than 20,000 visits the emergency room with CO exposure.
Where To Install Your Smoke Detectors
Location is one of the most important things to think about when installing smoke and CO detectors. Install them in:
• Each floor of your home
• Every bedroom
• Any hallway near sleeping areas
• Near basement stairs
• In the living room and dining room
• 10 feet from your stove, furnace, or water heater
Since smoke rises, the best location in each room is on the ceiling. You can also install an alarm on the wall. The alarm should be at least 4 inches from the ceiling.
Follow these tips when installing smoke alarms:
• Avoid corners where walls meet ceilings. These can form pockets of air that prevent the smoke from reaching the alarm sensor.
• On a vaulted ceiling, install the alarm at least 4 inches from the peak.
• Don’t place the alarm close to a clothes dryer, hair dryer, or other appliance that regularly generates heat.
Where To Install CO Detectors
Because you can’t detect the CO in your home, it’s important to install detectors in many of the same places you would place a smoke alarm. The NFPA recommends these spots at a minimum:
• Outside every sleeping area
• On each floor of your house
• Where required by local codes
Virginia requires all rental units and new construction to have CO detectors. To be sure you’re protecting yourself and your family, follow these tips:
• Place CO detectors 5 to 20 feet away from the water heater, furnace, space heater, and other heat-producing appliances.
• Put one in or near your garage.
• Place them away from windows and other sources of drafts that could interfere with the detector’s ability to sense CO in the air.
How and When To Test Your Alarms
You should test your smoke alarms and CO detectors every week. Some detectors have automatic, built-in testers. Check your alarms weekly, and change the batteries once a year. Replace the alarms completely every 10 years.
Stay Safer with Our Help
At SESCOS, we want to help you stay safe. If you need new alarms, you can get fast, expert installation at a great price. We’re currently running a special on smoke and CO detectors. Call us today to get the protection your family needs.