Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are crucial to the safety of your home. Statistically speaking, having a working smoke detector reduces the risk of death by fire nearly in half. It’s important to know where to install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and which type to get.
Where to Install Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
First, you’ll want to install them in your living areas, such as the living room, TV room, play room, etc. Place one in each hallway close to sleeping areas; if a hallway is longer than 40 feet, place the devices at both ends. You can also place them in each bedroom for extra precaution. The top of stairways going to an upper floor, and at the bottom of stairways going to a basement are also essential areas for detectors, as smoke tends to accumulate first in these areas. Finally, make sure to place both a smoke and carbon monoxide detector at least 10 feet away from your stove or furnace.
Knowing where to place the detectors is just the start. We can ensure ultimate safety by getting the right type of detector. Here’s what you need to know to pick the appropriate ones for your home.
Types of Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
There are two general types of devices to choose from: individual carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, or combination devices. Combination devices, although sometimes more costly, are able to detect both smoke and carbon monoxide from one single device. This will free up outlet space and take up less space on your ceiling for a cleaner look and for easy management.
Additionally, there are options for both wired and battery-powered devices. In general, battery-powered detectors are cheaper and easier to install, though you'll need to replace the batteries periodically. It is a smart idea to test these devices frequently to ensure they are working properly. If you opt for wired detectors, you’ll want to choose the kind with backup batteries to ensure they continue working in the event of a power failure.
Finally, there are options out there for smart detectors. These devices connect to your home's internet connection, enabling you to monitor them from your smartphone or other mobile device. This way, you can check on your home while you are at work or out of town to ensure everything is safe. These devices tend to be the most expensive, but they'll also give you the greatest peace of mind, especially if you are gone for long periods of time.
Adding Sprinkler Systems
If you live in an area that is prone to fires, you may wish to add overhead sprinklers to your home as well. In fact, some jurisdictions actually require them, so be sure to check the laws in your area. Modern sprinkler systems can sync with your smoke detectors, activating the sprinklers in case of fire.
Upgrade Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Even if your home already has detectors in place, make sure to check them often to ensure they are functioning and ready to protect your family and your home. You may also wish to upgrade them to more modern versions for greater control and for the ultimate protection.