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4 Things to Consider Before Buying Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

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by Harriet Bond
(San Francisco, CA, USA)

A home fire can spread quickly and if you are not prepared, could cause catastrophic damage and even death. In order to protect your home and your family you will need to ensure that you have smoke detectorsinstalled properly.

Carbon monoxide can cause serious medical conditions as well and detectors should also be in place to guard against carbon monoxide poisoning. Installing these devices is not difficult and should be done in every home. Before you run out and purchase detectors for your homehowever, there are a few things that you should keep in mind.

1. You need to consider the power that runs the detectors you purchase. For instance, some detectors use battery power and these batteries will need to be checked and replaced regularly. Other smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are hard wired which means that they run from your home’s electricity. These models typically provide a battery backup option that powers the device in the event of an electrical outage. You can also purchase models that have lithium batteries which give you longer lasting power than traditional batteries.

2. There are two different types of smoke detectors from which you can choose. Each of these detects smoke in your home and will alert you of a possible fire but each has different technology that helps it to detect certain types of fires. Many homeowners choose to have both models installed in their homes simply because you can never predict what type of fire your home may have.

Ionization smoke detectors are sensitive at detecting fires that burn quickly such as kitchen grease fires. Photoelectric detectors however are better at detecting fires that smolder such as what may happen if a cigarette is left burning into your bedding or other furniture.

3. You will also need to understand the different types of carbon monoxide detectors. Metal oxide sensors can detect gases in addition to carbon monoxide like silicone and bleach. Electrolytic detectors are more sensitive than other models but can be a bit more expensive. Colorimetric detectors measure carbon monoxide that builds up over time.

4. Whatever type of smoke detector and carbon monoxide sensor you purchase, it is essential that you follow all manufacturers’ instructions for installation. If you are unsure of how or where to properly install these devices, you may want to hire a professional to install them for you. Most manufacturers offer suggestions on the best places within the home to place detectors and most hardware for installation comes standard with the detector.

Keep all guides and maintenance information in a safe place so that you can refer to it at a later date should you experience problems with the detectors or have questions and need to contact the manufacturer.


This article was written by Electric Point, one of the largest independent wholesale groups in the UK and Ireland, offering smoke and fire alarms. Visit us at electricpoint.com today.

Updated: May 5, 2013 — 11:50 am

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