Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Smoke alarms are a key part of keeping your home and family safe. When there is a fire, smoke spreads fast and could be deadly. Working smoke alarms give you an early warning so you can get to safety quickly. However, while many homes or apartments have a smoke alarm installed, many alarms are old, non-working or in need of repair or replacement. We’ve talked about how this work, now we’ll explain why it’s important they’re installed correctly.

It is important that you have the proper placement for your smoke or carbon monoxide alarms to make sure they are effective. You should install your alarms at least 20 feet from appliances like furnaces and ovens, which produce combustion particles that could set off false alarms.

Additionally, alarms should be placed at least ten feet away from high humidity areas like showers or laundry rooms, and at least three feet from heat/AC vents. Be sure to install an alarm in each bedroom, one at the top of each stairwell, and one on every level of your home. When installing an alarm in the attic, ensure you choose detectors that will only sound if the temperatures reach at least 200 degrees.

Once you install your alarms and ensure they are in working order, it’s a good idea to interconnect them. When smoke alarms are interconnected, one smoke alarm will trigger the rest. This ensures that if a fire starts in the kitchen and sets off an alarm, smoke alarms upstairs will also go off, alerting those who may be in other parts of the home or building. Interconnection can be done using hard-wiring by a professional electrician. With help interconnecting, your smoke alarms call Mister Sparky® of San Antonio and we’ll send a professional out right away.

In a Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) survey of households with any fires, including fires in which the fire department was not called, interconnected smoke alarms were more likely to successfully alert occupants to a fire.

When smoke alarms (interconnected or not) were on all floors, they sounded in 37 percent of fires and alerted occupants 15 percent of the time. While this may appear to be a small number, consider the following statistics from the CPSC.

  • When smoke alarms were not on all floors, they sounded in only four percent of the fires and alerted occupants in only two percent.
  • In homes that had interconnected smoke alarms, the alarms sounded in half (53 percent) of the fires and alerted people in one-quarter (26 percent) of the fires.

In addition to installing and interconnecting your smoke detectors, it is also important to consider installing carbon monoxide detectors. Carbon monoxide detectors are an important component of home safety many homeowners overlook. There are models that are both smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in the market (like the one pictured below) You can read more about the different types of carbon monoxide detectors here. These models will alert you if there is smoke or carbon monoxide gas detected in your home.

With help installing, carbon monoxide detectors or interconnecting smoke detectors in your home or business, call Mister Sparky® of San Antonio at (210) 899-2430 and we’ll send a professional out right away.