Carbon Monoxide & Smoke Detector Installations in Lafayette, LA

Smoke Detector Installation in Lafayette, LA

Mr. Electric of Lafayette, LA electrician handing his business card to a customer.

Keeping Your Family Safe From Fire and Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is much more common than you may think. In fact, over two thousand American die each year from unintentional CO poisoning, making it one of the top causes of poisoning in the United States. This substance is especially dangerous because it can't be detected with the naked eye. It's colorless, tasteless, and odorless, so people often aren't aware of CO until symptoms begin to show. Luckily, CO poisoning is preventable. The team at Mr. Electric of Lafayette recommends installing carbon monoxide and smoke detectors to keep your family safe. Over the years, we've installed upgraded models in homes and businesses in Lafayette, Broussard, and Scott, LA. Don't put your safety at risk—invest in CO and smoke detectors today.

Is a Carbon Monoxide Detector Necessary?

The answer is always yes. Carbon monoxide detectors are often the only way to know if CO is seeping into your home. These detectors set off an alarm at the first sign of this dangerous substance, so you'll know of the situation even if you're sleeping during a leak. Carbon monoxide can be fatal within minutes, so an immediate warning is essential to staying safe. It's also a good idea to know the initial symptoms of CO poisoning. If you notice these symptoms without an apparent cause, you may have a gas leak on your hands:

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Light-headedness
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Irregular breathing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Confusion
  • Chest pain

Potential Sources of Carbon Monoxide

Another way to protect yourself against carbon monoxide poisoning is to understand the sources. When with think of CO, we often picture hot gas ranges and water heaters. However, CO can also leak due to faulty space heaters, excess car exhaust, and charcoal grills. If you have any of these common household appliances, make sure they're stored in well-ventilated areas. Besides that, we recommend taking these steps to prevent carbon monoxide leaks in your home:

  • 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
  • Purchase gas appliances that carry Underwriters' Laboratories (UL) or the American Gas Association seal of approval
  • Inspect gas appliances every year, preferably with a professional
  • Don't use flameless chemical heaters in enclosed spaces
  • Request expert repairs for faulty gas appliances
  • 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
  • Take battery-powered heaters on 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 carbon monoxide detectors for low-income individuals

Where to Place Your Carbon Monoxide Detector

It matters where you install a carbon monoxide detector. The general wisdom is to place your detector along the wall between knee and chest height. This is because gas spreads evenly throughout the home, and you want the detector to sound an alarm when the CO reaches the height at which you sleep. However, we know many of our customers have children and pets prone to messing with switches and outlets. If this is the case for you, it's appropriate to install a carbon monoxide detector at chest height. You may even want to opt for a combination smoke-and-carbon-monoxide detector installed at ceiling height. Whatever you do, never install a detector behind curtains or in hidden areas that may inhibit the device's effectiveness.

Don't Forget About Smoke Detector Installation

Installing smoke detectors is another crucial way to keep your home and family safe. Cases of house fires are not insignificant—with the U.S. Fire Association reporting that they result in 3,000 deaths and nearly 15,000 injuries each year. Accordingly, state and local laws mandate that smoke detectors be installed in any dwelling and workplace. There must be a smoke detector near every bedroom, and they may also need to be placed along stairways and hallways. After installation, be sure to schedule a replacement every ten years to ensure your devices stay in top shape.

Get Familiar With the Types of Smoke Detectors

Before you can decide where to install smoke detectors, you'll need to choose which kind to get. There are two main types of detectors, and while both serve the same purpose, they operate differently. Here's what you need to know about the two UL-certified smoke detectors:

  • Ionization—Ionization smoke detectors use a continuous current that runs between two electrodes. When the detector senses smoke, the current is interrupted and sounds an alarm. The drawback is that ionization smoke detectors may also trigger when steam enters the unit. They're prone to false alarms but also offer quicker response times, battery failure alerts, and an overall lower cost.
  • Photoelectric—This type of smoke detector goes off when smoke entering the unit disrupts light's ability to reach an internal photocell. Photoelectric detectors are better equipped to sense a smoldering fire and tend to trigger false alarms less often. However, it's important to remember that they don't have a battery failure alarm.

Here Are Our Tips for Installing a Smoke Detector

The team at Mr. Electric of Lafayette is here for more than just telling you how to install a smoke detector. We're licensed electricians with years of experience in the field, and we've learned a thing or two about smoke detector installation and general fire safety. Here are our top tips for proper installation and being prepared for a fire:

  • Install at least one smoke detector on each floor of the house
  • Test alarms every six months to a year
  • Have a battery-powered back-up 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 stop a false alarm
  • Never remove the batteries unless you're changing them
  • Store a fire blanket in your home
  • Keep a fire extinguisher in an easily accessible location
  • Create an emergency exit plan and ensure the whole family knows what to do in the case of a fire
  • Contact your local fire department about affordable smoke detectors for low-income households

How to Test Your Smoke Detector

When was the last time you tested your smoke detector? Regularly checking your detector is essential to keeping your home safe. The good news is that testing your unit is simple! Hold a lit match or candle about six inches below the unit. Press the test button and wait for the alarm. If it doesn't trigger, blow out the flame and wait for a response. If the alarm still doesn't go off, it's likely time to contact Mr. Electric of Lafayette for a new smoke detector.

Talk to a Licensed Electrician Today

Never put off installing a carbon monoxide or smoke detector in your home. If your current unit is getting old, reach out to the team at Mr. Electric of Lafayette. We'll get you set up with an efficient detector that will bring you peace of mind.