Smoke Detectors – Fall Back to Safety

November 7, 2016 Quiver Full Farms No comments exist

It’s that time of the year again. Time to change our clocks back. And for those of you who aren’t parents, time to get an extra hour of sleep. But what else can we do during this time of the year other than setting our clocks back? How about changing your smoke detectors batteries?

Setting our clocks back for Daylight Saving is a great reminder to also change the batteries on your CO2 and smoke detectors. You should be testing your smoke detector on a monthly basis so don’t wait for that annoying chirp to wake you up in the middle of the night before you change the battery.

It may also be time to change out your smoke detector completely. Believe it or not, they do have an expiration date.

Older smoke alarms had a 5 year lifespan and current ones are around 10 years.

To keep them working at tip top shape, it’s a good idea to dust or vacuum them when you change the batteries as well. And don’t paint over them during your next DIY project. The paint can clog to sensors

Do I need a CO2 Dectector?

The simple answer is, if you have any fuel-burning appliance in your home, then yes.  This could be a gas range or hot water heater, a gas furnace, a wood burning stove, or anything else that burns fuel. Fuel includes but is not limited to oil, wood, propane, or natural gas.

Carbon monoxide is a odorless, colorless, and tasteless gas that can be deadly in concentrated levels. Having a working CO2 detector can swerve your families lives.

Another good place to keep a CO2 detector is in the garage if you work regularly on running vehicles.

Different types of Smoke Detectors

Just like everything else in this world, there is an abundance of choices when it comes to smoke detectors. From the inexpensive basic models to the built in wifi versions that communicate with your cell phone.

Ionization technology is great at detecting fast flaming fires such as a trash can or Christmas tree going up in flames. They are not as good at detecting smoldering fires that will smoke for some time.

The opposite is true of photoelectric smoke detectors and that is why we recommend having both types in your home. They also make an smoke detector that has dual sensors in a single alarm. Combination smoke detector / CO2 alarm units are available as well.

You can use  hard wired version if your house is already wired or use a standalone battery operated unit. I would recommend using a unit that has a backup battery if your unit is wired.

Some units have a “long life” lithium ion battery that is supposed to last for the full 10 year lifespan of the smoke detector. I don’t really know enough about these units to give either a recommendation or a negative review but I do know that if the battery dies, you will need to replace the whole unit. I also know that batteries are also a good year old or so by them time you buy them off the shelf. So while I will hold my review on these units for now, I will also let you know that we don’t use these units in our house.

Get Going

This is the time of the year that we are turning our heating back on, frying turkeys, stoking the fire in the fireplace, and running Christmas lights in ways that would give the fire Marshall a heart attack. Make sure to not only stay safe during the upcoming holidays but to also prepare now to ensure your family’s safety. A fire extinguisher may be a good idea as well but that’s a topic for another post!

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