Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
The National Fire Protection Association reports that while 96% of US homes have smoke alarms, 70% of home fire deaths occur where there is no working alarm. To protect your family, make sure you have working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
To address the problem of non-working smoke alarms, the state of California has made it a requirement that all homes have smoke alarms with a 10-year battery life. The newest products from First Alert and other smoke alarm manufacturers have a built in 10-year battery, so no battery maintenance is required on your part. The NFPA recommends that there be at least one smoke alarm on each level of the house, plus one in each sleeping area. If you haven’t converted your smoke alarms to the 10-year versions, now is the time.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Equally as important as smoke alarms is having a unit that will alert you of high levels of carbon monoxide in the home. California law also mandates that all homes have carbon monoxide detectors. These are simple to install as they can be plugged right into an existing power outlet. Carbon monoxide in a home is a very dangerous situation as you cannot smell the gas and it usually renders the victims unconscious before they realize there is a problem if they don’t have a carbon monoxide detector. There should also be one carbon monoxide detector on each level of the house, as well as in each bedroom. The helpful folks at your neighborhood Ace Hardware store can assist you in determining how many devices you need and can show you the newest technology in both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, as well as units that combine the two functions and have other advanced safety features. Installing these new alarms and detectors is a good time to review the emergency escape plan with everyone in your home.