Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Alarms and detectors are inexpensive and indispensible. Installed in your home or business, these simple electronic devices save lives, period.

Smoke alarm tips

  • The Red Cross recommends installing smoke alarms outside each sleeping area and on each additional level of your home. If people sleep with doors closed, install smoke alarms inside sleeping areas, too.
  • Use the test button to check each smoke alarm once a month. When necessary, replace batteries immediately.
  • Vacuum away cobwebs and dust from your smoke alarms monthly.
  • Smoke alarms become less sensitive over time. Replace your smoke alarms every 10 years.

In addition to alarms, consider keeping one or more working fire extinguishers in your home.

Carbon monoxide detector tips

  • The Red Cross recommends placing a carbon monoxide detector in the hallway near every separate sleeping area of the home. Make sure that the detector cannot be covered up by furniture or draperies. Follow manufacturer’s instructions regarding specific location where to install it. Avoid corners, where air does not circulate.
  • Before buying a CO detector, check to make sure it is listed with Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Standard No. 2034, or there is information on the package or owner’s manual that says that the detector meets the requirements of the IAS 6-96 standard.
  • CO detectors are available for boats and recreational vehicles, too. The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association requires that CO detectors/alarms be installed in motor homes and in towable recreational vehicles that have a generator or are prepped for a generator.

A carbon monoxide detector can provide added protection, but is no substitute for proper use and upkeep of appliances that can produce CO.

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