Do you know how to check the correct operation of your smoke and carbon monoxide detector? If your answer is no, you are in the right place.
Today we will talk about the importance of these devices in your home, but also about how to check if these detectors work. So, if you’re ready, let’s get started.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors-What the law says
According to current regulations and requirements, each landlord is responsible for installing proper smoke alarm as well as carbon monoxide detector, at least when it comes to the United States and the United Kingdom. The assumption is that this is an obligation in other countries as well, if we consider the consequences of the fire.
Namely, due to the fire, about 3,000 people die every year, while almost 20,000 people got injured. This primarily refers to the United States, and if the figures are taken at the global level, then the statistics are certainly much, much worse and worrying.
However, what the statistics say, and which is certainly encouraging, is that in households that have built-in smoke alarms, people are as much as 50% less likely to die in the event of a home fire.
Another important thing are carbon monoxide detectors. Namely, carbon monoxide is formed as a by-product of incomplete combustion of fossil fuels such as wood, coal, natural gas, and the like. The worst thing is that this gas is colorless and odorless, and at the same time it is poisonous so that it can very easily cause poisoning in the person who inhales it.
Also, carbon monoxide is very deadly, so that is another reason why you should have a carbon monoxide detector built into your house. The symptoms of poisoning are very similar to those of the flu, so it can often be too late for medical intervention.
Which smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to choose?
To prevent all of the above, and simply to save your life and the lives of your family members, the best solution is to hire an authorized service to install both devices. Of course, we must emphasize it’s very important that in the lease agreement there is a guarantee that the built-in appliances work and that you are responsible for their maintenance (battery replacement).
If you do not have the mentioned alarms built in, it is a warm recommendation to do so as soon as possible. We can help you with the choice and recommend that you check the X-Sense carbon monoxide detectors. Of course, you can also find smoke alarms there, but carbon monoxide detectors are especially interesting because they are 10-years sealed, i.e. you have as much as 10 years of continuous protection.
Also, it is important to mention that they have combined devices, i.e. one device that detects both smoke and carbon monoxide, so this may be the right thing for you. Check and pick what you think is the most suitable for you.
How to test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Now we come to the essence of today’s article, i.e. how to test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors?
Testing these alarms must be on your checklist if, for example, you have just bought a new house that has built-in detectors. First of all, it is important to check for overall safety in the event of a fire. In addition, if a fire occurs, you may have a problem with the law if it turns out that the mentioned devices did not work.
Even if you have recently installed them, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) recommends that checking should be routine at least once a month.
So how can you actually check if smoke and carbon monoxide detectors work? First of all, it is important to keep the user manual that you received from the manufacturer. It certainly says how to test these detectors, because the process can vary depending on the manufacturer. Of course, you can always check online for instructions.
However, most manufacturers, like the X-Sense recommended above, have an easily accessible and visible button on the front of the device. All you have to do is press that button, and after a short period of time (usually a few seconds), you will be able to hear a loud sound.
Also, we must mention that it can happen that the sound of the device is not loud enough, or it is not even heard at all. In that case, the advice is to test again, replace the batteries and, if nothing has changed, buy new smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
Additional guidelines for maintaining alarms
Although battery replacement is most often mentioned when maintaining a smoke and carbon monoxide detector, there are some other things you need to pay attention to. Below we will list a couple of them.
Make an escape plan
Of course, the escape plan has little to do with the alarm. However, as you know, the alarm is only there to warn of the presence of fire, smoke or carbon monoxide. It is up to you to make an evacuation plan and a plan to resolve the situation in the event of an accident.
Keep the detector clean
Another very important item is to keep the detector as clean as possible.
It is a known fact that dust can accumulate on and inside them, or that spiders can make a web, and so on. All this can interfere with the proper operation of these home appliances, and thus put you in danger.
Test detectors regularly
Although we mentioned it above, it is worth repeating once again. It is important that you test the alarms approximately once a month. That way, you will always be sure that you have a working device, and that you are safe.
All statistics say that fires are a serious cause of death and injuries. With that in mind, there is no doubt that each of us would do anything to prevent this. The solution is offered through smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, effective and budget-friendly devices that can save lives of your family members.
In addition to installing these useful home appliances, it is very important to test their operation regularly and make sure you are safe.