Carbon Monoxide & Smoke Detector Installation in Metairie, LA
Staying Safe From Carbon Monoxide
Over two thousand Americans die every year from unintentional carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. That makes CO the top cause of poisoning in the United States. This substance is colorless, tasteless, and odorless, so it makes sense why many people aren't aware of the threat until symptoms start to show. Thankfully, CO poisoning is preventable through carbon monoxide and smoke detector installation. At Mr. Electric of North Shore and Metairie, we help homeowners in Metairie, Covington, and Madisonville, LA 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 yes. If you're sleeping during a CO leak, you may never know of the danger without an alarm going off and waking you and your family up. Some levels of carbon monoxide can be fatal within minutes, so the warning time a detector provides is invaluable. Knowing the symptoms of CO poisoning is another essential way of keeping 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 come from multiple sources. Most of the time, we associate CO with gas ranges and stoves, water heaters, and furnaces. Nevertheless, this gas can also be produced by space heaters, car exhaust, and charcoal grills. If you have any of these appliances in your home, make sure they're in well-ventilated areas. Beyond installing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors by every bedroom, here are some 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 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
Placing Your Carbon Monoxide Detector
Carbon monoxide detectors should always be installed between knee and chest height. This gas spreads evenly throughout the home, so we recommend keeping your detector at the same level as you sleep. However, if you have unruly pets or curious children who might mess with them, it's appropriate to install CO detectors at chest height. Homeowners who opt for a combination smoke-and-carbon-monoxide detector should install them at ceiling height. Above all else, never install your detectors behind curtains or in areas that could prevent them from doing their job.
Why Smoke Detectors Are Crucial
Just like CO detectors, smoke detector installation services are crucial. According to the U.S. Fire Association, fires cause over 3,000 deaths and nearly 15,000 injuries in the United States each year. Because of this danger, state and local laws mandate that smoke detectors be installed anywhere humans live and work. Detectors must be placed near every bedroom and, in some cases, must also be installed in stairways, hallways, and garages. But it's not enough to install a smoke detector and forget about it. The National Fire Protection Association recommends replacing your smoke detector every ten years to ensure your system stays functional.
Learn More About the Types of Smoke Detectors
Smoke detectors come in two main varieties: ionization and photoelectric. While both serve the same purpose and must pass the same UL certification, there are clear differences in how they operate. Get the basics on these two types of smoke detectors:
- Ionization—This type of smoke detector features a continuous current that runs between two electrodes. When smoke enters the unit, the current is interrupted and triggers an alarm. However, ionization detectors can't tell the difference between steam and smoke, and they may sound false alarms when installed near a bathroom. Despite this drawback, the positives of ionization detectors include quick response times, battery failure alarms, and lower costs.
- Photoelectric—Photoelectric smoke detectors trigger when smoke enters the unit and reduces the light reaching an 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 when the battery dies.
Our Tips for Installation and Fire Safety
Properly placing and monitoring your smoke detector is key to keeping your family safe. Take a look at some of our tips for fire safety and smoke detector installation:
- 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 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 vital for keeping your Covington home safe. The team at Mr. Electric of North Shore and Metairie recommends checking your unit by pressing the test button and listening for the alarm. Next, hold a lit match or candle six inches below the unit. If the alarm doesn't trigger, blow the flame out and see if smoke sounds the alarm. If you still get no response from the smoke detector, it's time to replace the unit.
Request a Quote Today
Are you wondering about the cost of installing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors? Perhaps you need a replacement unit placed quickly. Whatever the case for you, Mr. Electric of North Shore and Metairie is here to help. Contact us today to get your free quote.