Did You Know?
Each year, approximately 3,000 people in the U.S.A.. die from fires in the home. Many of these fires occur at night while people who are sleeping unknowingly inhale toxic gases and smoke. More than half of the fires occur in houses without a smoke alarm. Fires that result in death in houses with smoke detectors are almost always due to not enough detectors or dead smoke alarm batteries. The risk of death from residential fires is cut significantly when you know how to change the batteries in your smoke detector.
Smoke detectors that are 10 years old are near the end of their service life and should be replaced. Some people think that their smoke alarm sits idle until there is smoke present. Actually, it is working every minute, constantly monitoring the air 24 hours a day. An normal smoke detector, for example, goes through 3.5 million monitoring cycles in 10 years.
Just like any electrical appliance, the working components of smoke alarms wear out over time. When the smoke detector reaches 10 years of use, the potential of failing to detect a fire increases. Replacing them after 10 years reduces the likelihood of failure.
What Is Carbon Monoxide?
Carbon Monoxide is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in America, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). 1,500 people die annually due to accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, and additional 10,000 seek medical attention. (Medical experts agree that it's difficult to estimate the total number of carbon monoxide poisoning incidents because the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning resemble so many other common ailments.
Carbon Monoxide Detector Placement:
Proper placement of a carbon monoxide (CO) detector is important. If you are installing only one carbon monoxide detector, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends it be located near the sleeping area, where it can wake you if you are asleep. Additional detectors on every level and in every bedroom of a home provides extra protection against carbon monoxide poisoning.
Homeowners should remember not to install carbon monoxide detectors directly above or beside fuel-burning appliances, as appliances may emit a small amount of carbon monoxide upon start-up. A detector should not be placed within fifteen feet of heating or cooking appliances or in or near very humid areas such as bathrooms.
When considering where to place a carbon monoxide detector, keep in mind that although carbon monoxide is roughly the same weight as air (carbon monoxide's specific gravity is 0.9657, as stated by the EPA; the National Resource Council lists the specific gravity of air as one), it may be contained in warm air coming from combustion appliances such as home heating equipment. If this is the case, carbon monoxide will rise with the warmer air.
Installation locations vary by manufacturer. Manufacturers' recommendations differ to a certain degree based on research conducted with each one's specific detector. Therefore, make sure to read the provided installation manual for each detector before installing. (Source: http://www.homesafe.com/coalert/detect.php)