Many homeowners don’t give much thought to their carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. There they are, high on the wall or overhead, presumably doing their jobs month after month. But it’s really not a good idea to ignore them. They may have reached their expiration dates, and maybe it’s time to replace detectors. Read on for what that involves.
Detectors Have a Lifespan
Like everything on earth, detectors have a lifespan. Carbon monoxide detectors last from five to seven years, while smoke detectors should be replaced at least every 10 years. Monitors should be regularly tested to ensure they are working right. If they are battery operated, batteries should be changed as needed. If they are wired into your home’s electrical system, the wiring should be checked for fraying or loose connections.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless, invisible gas that will sicken and kill all living things at sufficiently high levels. It is produced during the combustion process, so anything that runs on fuel in your home may be giving off CO. Placing monitors at strategic locations throughout the house, and ensuring that they are in good working order, will go far to protect your household from CO leaks. When you replace your old monitor, look for the following features:
- fuel-cell electro-chemical sensor (more sensitive to CO, less prone to false alarms)
- digital readout
- peak level memory retention features (helpful to emergency personnel, should there be a significant CO leak or exposure)
Place CO monitors on each level of the home, and at least 5 feet from the ground.
There are two types of smoke alarms:
- Ionization smoke alarms warn quicker when there’s a flame
- Photoelectric alarms give a warning quicker when there is a smoldering fire.
It’s a good idea to use both types of alarms, and have them interconnected so they both go off.
Install smoke alarms in all bedrooms, outside sleeping areas and on every level. They should be placed on the ceiling.
For more on when to replace detectors, contact Rinaldi’s Energy Solutions. We serve Orlando and the surrounding area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Orlando, Florida and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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