Both carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are essential in any residential or commercial property. They can prevent potential loss of life and property. If you are still not convinced, allow me to put it into perspective. According to the National Fire Protection Association, firefighters respond to fire every 24 seconds and a CO alarm every 7 minutes.
Therefore, by the time you finish reading this blog, there will be at least 12 fire-related calls and at least one CO alert. Approximately 400 people die thanks to carbon monoxide poisoning. As you guessed it, deaths are avoidable. Extensive property damage is also preventable. At JDM electrical contractors, we recommend combining the smoke and carbon detectors in every room.
The biggest reason is that fire, smoke, and CO are interconnected. When a fire breaks into an insulated room, people suffocate due to carbon monoxide poisoning. Even when the fire is not extensive or smoky, the air quality could be compromised, poisoning inhabitants before even the fire is detected.
About 60% of fire deaths occur in households that do not have a working smoke detector. If you have a fire alarm, the alarm will sound, giving you time to escape and call emergency services. You will have a chance to save lives and property.
While most people know about fire and smoke, few know carbon monoxide. Complete combustion releases carbon dioxide. If the combustion is incomplete, an odorless gas is released into the air. It is common in coal heating, charcoal grills, gas appliances, and fuel furnaces.
It is also released when there is a fire. The gas is highly toxic if inhaled. It is called a silent killer because it can kill a person without the person feeling any pain or discomfort.
The level of poisoning will depend on the amount of gas in the air and the time of exposure. Even small amounts of this gas can be dangerous when the exposure time is long. Short exposure time is unlikely to cause fatality, but it can cause discomfort.
There is a misconception that the gas will not affect you if you are healthy. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Exposure to carbon dioxide is dangerous for everyone, even at small levels. Children, pregnant women, older people, and people with certain medical conditions are particularly vulnerable.
Why combine smoke and carbon detectors?
These systems have been around for a while now. They have improved over time to bring an era of photoelectric detectors. You can say that they are more accurate than they were before. Everyone is concerned about the accuracy of the detection system. Nobody wants a system that is not going to alert him when the fire starts. A system that sounds when you are late is no better than not having one. Combining the two systems has two purposes.
It increases the response rate. Even if there is no extensive smoke, carbon monoxide detectors will still capture the presence of fire or poisonous gas. If the carbon is not coming from a fire, and instead is coming from the furnace, fireplace, grill, or any other source in the house, you will still catch it before it becomes toxic.
You also cover more ground from fire to indoor air quality. Assume you decided to do the indoor grilling, how do you know that there is a danger of poisoning? A typical smoke detector will sound if there is smoke. If there are no smokes, you might start getting dizzy or developing nausea and headaches and not know the source. It is better to have a combined smoke and carbon monoxide detector.
What to look for in a detection combo
The functionality of the system
Nobody wants to buy something that will not offer the services that he or she is buying. Ensuring that the system performs all the tasks that you want is imperative. Some of these gadgets also detect propane, making it possible to know when there is a gas leak. It is prudent to check the specifications of the detector to ensure that it has all the services that you want.
Integration with other gadgets in the house
If you have a smart home, you are probably looking for a smoke detection system that will integrate with your smart devices. In such a case, you might look for a system that can connect wirelessly to other devices. Some systems will even call emergency services if they detect smoke.
Connectivity and energy source
As will be noted, issues with the battery can be deadly. The detector can be connected to the wiring system in the house or use its battery. It is crucial to have a sensor that will function all the time, even when there is no electrical connection. Even those that are connected to the wiring system also have a battery. Replace batteries at least once every year, preferably on your birthday, April fool’s day, or any other day that you are unlikely to forget.
The importance of having both detectors
You can save lives and property
Carbon monoxide and fire are most dangerous at night when you are all sleeping. CO poisoning will easily kill everyone if it reaches toxic levels. You cannot stay awake to prevent that, which means you have to rely on technology.
Lucky for you, all you have to do is to ensure that the installation is perfect. Regular inspection is also crucial to ensure that the sensors are free from damage. Some detectors will notify you if they need replacements—a pretty cool feature. Ensure that the battery is always connected. A significant number of fire and CO incidents occur in houses that have malfunctioning detectors.
About 68% of smoke detection failure is down to faulty, missing, or disconnected batteries. In 25% of the total failure cases, dead batteries were the cause of the malfunction. Lithium batteries are quite reliable, but you have to check on them occasionally. If you get an early warning, you can respond promptly to prevent any fatalities.
In case of fire, the alarm will sound alerting you and the people around you so that you can respond, preventing potential loss and damage to property.
You can save money on insurance
Insurers prefer minimal risks. If they insure a home, they want to ensure that they insure a house that has the least likely incident. If you have taken precautions to prevent a hazard, they always respond by offering you better terms. You will pay lower premiums for property insurance, which can be a massive saving for you.
You can monitor your property even when you are not around
If you are always out there at work or school, you need assurance that your house is safe. Electrical faults are notorious for causing residential fires. You can prevent that by installing a detector. You can combine both functions to get holistic coverage.
Lithium batteries will work well even when there is a blackout in your area. If the fire causes automatic disconnection to electricity, you can be sure that the detector will also be working if it has a workable battery.
Prevent emergency breakdowns of appliances
When heating systems are faulty, they start by burning fuel inefficiently. For example, a furnace will start burning gas inefficiently before it can break down. If you can detect the resultant carbon monoxide, you will get a tune-up as soon as possible. If there is nothing to alert you, breakdowns will be inevitable. It can break down in winter or at night. Emergency repairs are always costly but avoidable.
As noted, smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors can save lives and property. They are essential appliances in every residential or commercial establishment. A carbon and smoke detection combo does both functions efficiently. If you need installations for such a system, JDM Electrical Contractors is here to help. Contact us today to secure your property.