When a fire starts in your home, you may only have two minutes to escape safely. That’s why it’s a life-saving habit to regularly check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to avoid fire hazards. Can you remember the last time you checked them? If it has been some time, you better check your smoke/CO detectors now.
How Important Are Smoke and CO Alarms?
The cases of house fires in Louisiana increase as the cold season starts. A properly operating and well-maintained smoke alarm can reduce the risk of fire-related injuries and cut the chances of death during fire incidents by giving your family time to get out.
In addition to smoke alarms, it is also important that you have an effective carbon monoxide detector in your home. Carbon monoxide is an invisible gas which is highly dangerous. It is commonly referred to as a “silent killer.” Improperly maintained furnaces, broken venting, and air obstructions are often at fault. See The Consumer Products Safety Commission website for Safety Tips to help protect your family.
Carbon monoxide detectors alert you to the presence of carbon monoxide, giving you time to leave your home and move to a safer place. Proper placement of your CO detectors is important. Experts recommend carbon monoxide detectors be located near the bedrooms of your home and if you have multiple stories, they recommend one on each floor.
How Often Should You Change The Batteries of Your Smoke and CO Alarms?
Generally, smoke alarms have a lifespan of 8-10 years while your CO detectors can last between 5-7 years. General wisdom is that the batteries of your smoke alarms should be replaced once a year and two times a year for your CO detectors, preferably during spring and fall as you schedule your maintenance service. Between the replacement periods, you need to test their function every month to guarantee that your devices are still working correctly in securing the safety of your home. Be sure to check your manufacturer’s manual for specific instructions on the number of battery changes and maintenance.
Smoke and CO detectors are not your typical “set it and forget it” devices. The efficiency of their sensors reduces by 5% every year. Without proper maintenance, such as dusting the unit, it may not work when you need it to do so. So, if your devices are already ten years old, expect that their effectiveness has degraded by about 50%, that’s why you need to have them replaced.
Newer models of smoke alarms have 10-year non-replaceable batteries in them. This means that you don’t have to perform a biannual battery replacement to keep the alarm running. Again, refer to the manual for information about your specific model.
At Harkins Air Conditioning, Heating and Controls, we have a vast experience in inspecting and servicing your home heating system. You can always count on us for proficient service. All you need to do is call!