Smoke Alarms and carbon monoxide alarms save lives.
According to the US Fire administration three out of five home fire deaths are a result from fires in properties without working smoke alarms and more than one-third of home fire deaths result from fires where no smoke alarms are present. Not to mention half those deaths happen between 11pm and 7am when most people are asleep.
And how about carbon monoxide? Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and toxic poisonous gas that claim at least 430 lives a year in the US according to the CDC. Carbon monoxide fumes are produced by gas ranges, portable generators, stoves, furnaces and “warming up” your vehicle in garages (which is dangerous even with the garage door open.) Carbon monoxide gas build up in enclosed spaces where people and animals breath in the gas and can be poisoned and even die.
However, carbon monoxide poisoning is preventable and properly installed and maintained smoke detectors can drastically reduce fire deaths and injuries.
Here is what you need to know!
Per the NEC (National Electric Code) smoke alarms are to be placed in every bedroom and carbon monoxide/ smoke combos should be placed on each floor and generally placed outside each sleeping area. Detectors must be interconnected so that if one sounds off, they all go off.
Maintenance is also a vital part of proper functioning smoke and CO2 detectors. Test alarms at least once a month by pushing the test button. Replace batteries often (approximately every 6 months) even on “10-year sealed battery units” and note that since they are connected, if you change batteries in one, then change batteries in all. Also, the US Fire Administration, FEMA, NFPA, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission all say to replace fire alarms every 8-10 years.
There are some preventive measures you can take to avoid CO poisoning: Check batteries and life of detectors as mentioned above. Have your detectors, heating systems, water heater and other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year. Check vents and flues and make sure to keep them free of debris. Never “warm-up” your car in your garage even with the door open. Never run any gas-powered engine less than 20 feet from an open window or door. Never run grills, lanterns, portable stoves, generators, pressure washers, etc. inside a home, tent, or camper and if you do suspect CO poisoning get yourself or the affected to an open, outdoor area and call 911 immediately. CO poisoning can be marked by headaches, weakness, dizziness, vomiting and even chest pain. People who are sleeping or may have been drinking might not even show symptoms.
In the event your smoke alarm goes off, get outside, and stay outside. Have a fire escape plan for your family and an outdoor meeting place. Call the fire department from a cell phone or a neighbor’ s phone and stay outside until the fire department comes and says it’s safe to go back inside.
Overall, proper installation and regular maintenance and inspection of smoke and CO detectors can help prevent safety hazards in your home and save lives.
Poss Electric has a variety of smoke detector/CO2 packages to fit your homes needs. Our models are installed to code using combo sensors on each floor and hard-wired, interconnected 10-year sealed battery units. We can also provide our optimum options that can provide friendly alerts, mobile notifications, night glow, and smart models that can connect to your home security system.
Give Poss Electric a call today to ensure your smoke and CO2 detectors are up to date, working properly, or to explore some more advanced options to fit your homes needs and your personal preferences.