Smoke And Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Is One Enough?

All smoke alarms need to be replaced every 10 years. And, depending upon manufacturers, carbon monoxide (CO) alarms need to be replaced every 5-7 years. Even though an alarm may sound when you push the test button or replace the batteries, an outdated alarm does not provide the level of protection you need. Sensors weaken and can become obstructed over time. Check the age of every alarm in your home. If smoke alarms are over 10 years old, or carbon monoxide alarms are over 5-7 years old - they should be replaced immediately!

Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms, when properly, installed, give an early audible warning needed for safe escape from fire. This is critical, given the majority of all fire deaths occur in the home, and most of these occur at night during sleeping hours.

Smoke alarms should be tested monthly by pushing the test button. Once a year, use a smouldering cotton string, candle or incense until the smoke makes the alarm sound (test from the side of the alarm not directly under - sensors are on the side). If the alarm is battery-powered and doesn't sound, replace it with a new battery and try again. If it's electrically connected to household circuits and doesn't sound, check for power and try again. In either case, if the alarm still isn't working, the unit needs to be replaced.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Known as the silent killer, Carbon Monoxide (CO) is an odourless, colourless gas produced by incomplete burning of fuel, such as propane, kerosene, gasoline, oil, natural gas, wood and charcoal. Sources of CO in homes can include malfunctioning gas-fired appliances, space heaters and chimney flues. Each year, more than 450 people die and about 10,000 seek medical attention for accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. Symptoms of CO poisoning include nausea, fatigue, headaches, dizziness, breathing difficulty and confusion - but they are general enough to be confused with the flu. A CO alarm is designed to sound before symptoms would occur in an average adult. Exposure to carbon monoxide can be deadly. You can't see it, smell it or taste it. For the best protection, one carbon monoxide alarm should be installed on every floor of your home.

Don't cut corners when it comes to fire and CO protection for your family. Maximize your peace of mind by installing the correct number of approved alarms and detectors in your home.

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