Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are the unnoticeable protectors of your home against fire and the silent threat of carbon monoxide gas. Properly functioning smoke and carbon monoxide detectors can provide life-saving minutes to escape the home in time. That’s why it is so important for homeowners to regularly inspect these faithful lifesavers and make sure they are functioning properly.
By law, smoke detectors should be installed on every level of the home and should be placed inside bedrooms, common areas, laundry rooms and kitchens. Twenty-seven states require carbon monoxide detectors to be installed in private dwellings and some states require schools, hotels and motels to have carbon monoxide detectors. Visit the National Conference of State Legislatures to learn more about state requirements for carbon monoxide detectors.
Testing Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends testing smoke alarms at least once a month using the test button. Homeowners should refer to the manufacturer’s manual for cleaning the alarm and replacing batteries. To test the carbon monoxide detector, press the “test” button. If the detector does not emit a high-pitched beeping noise, then most likely the batteries need to be replaced.
Tips for Installing Smoke Alarms
The NFPA provides the following tips for installing smoke alarms:
- On levels without bedrooms, install alarms in the living room (or den or family room) or near the stairway to the upper level, or in both locations.
- Smoke alarms installed in the basement should be installed on the ceiling at the bottom of the stairs leading to the next level.
- Smoke alarms should be installed at least 10 feet (3 meters) from a cooking appliance to minimize false alarms when cooking.
- Mount smoke alarms high on walls or ceilings (remember, smoke rises). Wall-mounted alarms should be installed not more than 12 inches away from the ceiling (to the top of the alarm).
- If you have ceilings that are pitched, install the alarm within 3 feet of the peak but not within the apex of the peak (four inches down from the peak).
- Don’t install smoke alarms near windows, doors, or ducts where drafts might interfere with their operation.
When it’s time to install or replace alarms, it’s best to hire a certified electrician to get the job done right. Reach out to Blue Apple Electric to learn more about how we can service your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.