Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors Can Save Your Life!
Carbon Monoxide has no odor and is invisible, so maintenance of your detector is crucial to ensuring you and your family's safety. When you breathe carbon monoxide, the oxygen in your red blood cells is replaced with carbon monoxide. This can damage tissue and, in some cases, be fatal. Some of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning may include the following:
Accelerated heart rate
Nausea (or even vomiting)
Loss of consciousness
Carbon Monoxide Detector Maintenance
Once a month, press the detector's test button to ensure it's operating correctly.
The battery should be replaced a minimum of twice each year. In the Fall and Spring is a great schedule to plan battery changing.
Wipe the housing of your detectors with a dusting cloth. Be sure to test the detector after cleaning to ensure it's still operational.
If the detector is not operating correctly, it should be replaced. Follow the manufacturer's instructions on how many detectors and where they should be located.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors have about a seven-year life expectancy. They should be replaced if they are getting old.
A carbon monoxide detector should be located within 10 feet of each bedroom door, and there should be one near or over any attached garage.
Smoke Detector Maintenance
A smoke detector is designed to alarm you when there is smoke so that you can escape a potentially deadly situation in the case of a fire. Smoke detectors should also be regularly maintained.
Once a month, press the detector's test button to ensure it's operating correctly. If a smoke detector in your home doesn't function properly, it should be replaced immediately. Follow the manufacturer's instructions as to how many detectors and where they should be located.
With 9-volt powered smoke detectors, the batteries should be replaced once per year. Fall is a great time to do this. Some smoke detectors come with a ten-year battery.
To clean the detector, vacuum or gently wipe the housing with a dry dusting cloth. Be sure to test the detector after cleaning to ensure it's still operational.
Most smoke alarms last about ten years and should be replaced when they are old.
Install smoke alarms inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement. On levels without bedrooms, install alarms in the living room (or den or family room) near the stairway to the upper level or in both locations. (per the NFPA)
For both Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors, always read the manufacturer instructions for maintenance, as there may be different maintenance instructions per detector type. If you don't have the operating instructions, call the manufacturer, and they can help you.
Have a safe Fall, everyone!