Carbone Monoxide & Smoke Detector Installation
Solutions to Stay Safe From Carbon Monoxide
Every year, over two thousand Americans die from unintentional carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, as the Journal of the American Medical Association reports. That makes carbon monoxide the top poisoning cause for people in the United States. This substance is colorless, tasteless, and odorless, so it’s common for people not to realize the threat until symptoms start showing. Fortunately, carbon monoxide poisoning is preventable through carbon monoxide and smoke detector installation. At Mr. Electric of Grand Prairie, we help homeowners in Grand Prairie, Cedar Hill, and Waxahachie, TX stay safe with a brand-new CO detector. Learn more about why installing a detector is so important.
Do I Need Carbon Monoxide Installation Service?
The short answer is absolutely. If you're asleep while a CO leak is happening, you may never know you’re in danger without an alarm going off and waking up you and your family. Some carbon monoxide levels can be lethal within minutes, so a CO detector’s quick warning time is invaluable. Knowing the symptoms of CO poisoning is also essential to keep yourself safe. Initial symptoms may feel like the flu, and other warning signs include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Irregular breathing
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
Know the Sources of Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide can originate from various sources around your home. In most cases, we associate carbon monoxide with gas ranges and stoves, furnaces, and water heaters. Nevertheless, this gas can also come from space heaters, charcoal grills, and car exhaust. If you have any of these appliances in your home, you need to ensure you place them in well-ventilated areas. Beyond installing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors near every bedroom, Mr. Electric of Grand Prairie has provided many other ways to prevent CO poisoning in your home:
- Remember to change the batteries in your detector every six months to a year.
- Never run a generator or fuel-fed motor inside your home or garage
- Turn your car off as soon as it's parked in your garage.
- Purchase gas appliances that carry Underwriters' Laboratories (UL) or the American Gas Association seal of approval.
- Get gas appliances professionally inspected every year.
- Don't use flameless chemical heaters in enclosed spaces
- Have an expert repair any faulty gas appliance.
- Open the flue when your fireplace or furnace is in use.
- Don't use a gas oven to heat your home.
- Use grills in outdoor, well-ventilated areas.
- Choose battery-powered heaters for camping trips.
- Keep gas appliances properly adjusted, and use an exhaust fan whenever possible.
- Know the difference between the sound of your smoke alarm and CO detector.
- Talk to your local fire department about ways low-income individuals can require a carbon monoxide detector.
Where to Place Your Carbon Monoxide Detector
You should always install carbon monoxide detectors between knee and chest height. This gas spreads evenly throughout your home, so Mr. Electric of Grand Prairie recommends keeping your detector at the same level as your head when you’re asleep. However, if you have curious children or unruly pets who might mess with them, we suggest installing CO detectors at chest height to keep them out of reach. Homeowners who choose a combination smoke-and-carbon-monoxide detector should install it at ceiling height. Above all else, you should never install your detectors behind curtains or in areas that could prevent them from working at their best.
Why Smoke Detectors Are Vital
Like carbon monoxide detectors, smoke detector installation services are vital for your home’s safety. The U.S. Fire Association reports that fires cause nearly 15,000 injuries and over 3,000 deaths in the United States every year. Because of this proven danger, state and local laws mandate that people must install smoke detectors anywhere humans live and work. Homeowners must place detectors near every bedroom, and in some cases, they must install them in stairways, hallways, and garages. However, installing a smoke detector and forgetting about it isn’t enough. The National Fire Protection Association recommends ensuring your system stays completely functional by replacing your smoke detector every 10 years.
Information About the Types of Smoke Detectors
Smoke detectors come in two main varieties: ionization and photoelectric. While both options must pass the same UL certification and serve the same purpose, there are clear differences in how they operate. Mr. Electric explains these two types of smoke detectors:
- Ionization—This type of smoke detector features a continuous current running between two electrodes. When smoke enters the unit, the smoke interrupts the current and triggers an alarm. However, ionization detectors can’t differentiate between smoke and steam, and they may sound false alarms if you install them near your bathrooms. Despite this drawback, the positives of ionization detectors include lower cost, battery failure alarms, and quick response times.
- Photoelectric—Photoelectric smoke detectors trigger when smoke enters the unit and reduces the light reaching its internal photocell. These detectors are more likely to respond quickly to a smoldering fire and send false alarms less often. Unfortunately, photoelectric detectors will not alert you if their batteries die.
Our Tips for Installation and Fire Safety
Properly placing and monitoring your smoke detector is essential to ensuring your family stays safe. We recommend reviewing some of our tips for smoke detector installation and fire safety:
- Install at least one smoke detector on each floor of the house
- Test alarms every six months to a year
- Have a battery-powered backup in each smoke detector (NOT rechargeable batteries)
- Don't install detectors near drafty windows or doors
- Center smoke detectors on the ceiling at least six inches from the wall
- Place wall units at least a foot below the ceiling
- Prioritize putting smoke detectors near bedrooms, hallways, and staircases
- Lightly vacuum the unit annually
- Don't remove the unit from the wall to spot a false alarm
- Never remove the batteries unless you're changing them
- Store a fire blanket in your home
- Keep a fire extinguisher at the ready
- Create an emergency exit plan and ensure the whole family is on board
- Contact your local fire department about affordable smoke detectors for low-income households
Testing Your Smoke Detector
Regularly testing your smoke detector is crucial to keeping your Grand Prairie home safe. Mr. Electric of Grand Prairie’s electrical team recommends checking your unit by pressing its test button and listening for an alarm. Next, hold a lit match or candle six inches below your unit. If the alarm doesn't trigger, blow the flame out and see if smoke sounds the alarm. If your smoke detector still doesn’t respond to the smoke, it's time to replace the unit.
Request a Quote From Mr. Electric
Do you wonder about the cost of installing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors? You might need a licensed electrician to place a unit quickly. Whatever your case might be, Mr. Electric of Grand Prairie is here to help in Grand Prairie, Cedar Hill, and Waxahachie, TX. Contact us today to get your free quote.