Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are life-saving devices that should be installed in every home. Smoke detectors alert you to the first signs of smoke. Carbon monoxide detectors set off an alarm when they sense the deadly gas. This article explains the best places to install carbon monoxide and smoke detectors in the home.
The Importance of Smoke Detectors in the Home
The National Fire Protection Association cites that in two out of five home fires that killed residents there were no smoke detectors. Furthermore, the death rate per 1,000 reported house fires was nearly twice as high when the home did not have working smoke detectors.
Placement of Smoke Detectors
The placement of smoke detectors is critical in order for them to be effective. Smoke detectors should be installed in every bedroom and outside each sleeping area. For safety, each level of the home should have at least one smoke alarm. Install smoke detectors in the living room, at the base of the stairs leading to the next level of the home, in the laundry room to detect dryer fires, and in the attic.
Minimize false alarms by placing smoke detectors at least 10 feet from any cooking appliances. Because smoke rises, install smoke detectors either on the ceiling or high on the walls near the ceiling. Be sure to install smoke detectors away from doors, ducts, air vents, windows, or any other place where airflow may divert smoke from reaching the detector.
For the best protection, all the smoke detectors in the house should be from the same manufacturer and interconnected so that when one alarm sounds, all the smoke detectors in the home will sound.
Test each smoke and carbon monoxide alarm once a month. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and battery replacement. If your smoke alarm begins to chirp indicating its battery is low, change the battery right away.
The Importance of Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Carbon monoxide is a tasteless, colorless, odorless, toxic gas. Many household devices can give off carbon monoxide, including stoves, water heaters, automobiles, wood stoves and fireplaces, dryers, grills, and furnaces.
Approximately 200 people in the United States die each year due to carbon monoxide poisoning and another 5,000 are injured from inhaling the poisonous gas. Carbon monoxide detectors alert you to carbon monoxide in the air so you can exit the home quickly.
Placement of Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Place at least one carbon monoxide detector on each level of your home. If you have an attached garage, also install a detector there. Another carbon monoxide detector should be placed approximately 5 feet away from any gas appliances. When installing carbon monoxide detectors, place them at least five feet from the ground to get an optimal reading of the air.
Carbon monoxide and smoke detectors save lives. With proper installation, placement, and maintenance, these detectors alert you to dangers in the home and help protect your family.