By AJ Danboise
The smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home are what keep you and your family safe in emergency situations. But how can you be sure that your smoke and CO detectors are properly installed and properly working?

At AJ Danboise Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical, the safety of our customers is our number one priority. That’s why we want to give you peace of mind that your detectors are fully equipped to keep you safe at all times.

Installing Smoke Detectors

First of all, it is important to make sure you have the correct number of smoke detectors for the size of your home. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), it is important to have a smoke alarm inside every room where someone sleeps, outside each sleeping area, and on each level of your home, including the basement. This ensures that even if you are asleep when the alarm sounds, you will wake up and exit to safety. On levels without a sleeping area, install an alarm in the living area or near stairwells. Since the materials used to build homes have evolved over time, the number of mandatory smoke alarms has increased.

Placement of your smoke alarms is equally important. Since smoke rises, it is best to install them high on the walls, or even on the ceilings. An alarm should never be placed more than 12 inches away from the ceiling. Keep smoke alarms away from all doors, windows, and ducts because the airflow can interfere with their detection.

It is a good idea to interconnect all of your smoke alarms. That way if one goes off, all of them will go off throughout the house. This can be achieved through hardwiring.

Testing Smoke Detectors

To test the alarms in your smoke detector, simply press the “test” button and wait a few seconds until you hear a sharp shrieking siren noise. You can test the quality of the detection skills by holding a blown-out candle or a few matches near the exterior, or carefully spraying an aerosol toward the opening along the perimeter of the device.

Installing CO Detectors

Carbon monoxide fumes can be just as deadly as flames in excess. Even in small quantities, carbon monoxide can give you flu-like symptoms. Just like smoke detectors, it is important to install at least one CO detector on every level of your home. They should also by located near bedrooms so that you will hear the alarm even if you are asleep. Unlike smoke detectors, CO detectors should not be placed near the ceiling. Instead, position them near the floor but away from direct sunlight, heat, water, humidity, and curious children. Do not cover them up with curtains or furniture. Make sure there is at least one CO detector within 10 feet of your garage, since a running car could be the source of excessive CO.

Testing CO Detectors

Test the alarms on a CO detector with the “test” button – similar to the one on a smoke alarm. If your CO detector has a digital screen for reading CO levels, you can light a cigarette or some incense near the detector to test its functionality. The alarms probably won’t sound with such a low level of CO, but you can gauge whether or not it is reading the emissions in the air.

If your home needs new smoke detectors or CO detectors installed to get it up to code, or if you want to interconnect the wiring between your detectors, AJ Danboise Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical can help.

AJ Danboise Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical is here to help with all your, plumbing, heating, cooling and electrical needs. Contact us at (248) 477-3626.

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