Carbon monoxide poisoning in the home is not common, but if you have any fuel-powered appliances, you should maintain CO detectors. CO is odorless, tasteless and invisible, and a monitor is the only way you can be sure to detect it when it reaches levels that may sicken or even kill people and pets.

Smoke detectors are equally important. Without them, you are putting your household at risk should a fire break out. A smoke detector may well give you the time you need to evacuate your home before loss of life occurs.

Replacing Detectors and Monitors

You may have encountered frequent reminders about changing batteries or checking the wiring of your detectors to ensure they are working properly. But there’s more to it: the fact is, one day you will have to replace detectors, as they will eventually wear out. How often should that happen?

Fortunately, smoke and CO monitors are rather inexpensive, unless you go for one with special features. You will also need to plan to have more than one detector:

  • one smoke detector in each bedroom
  • a smoke detector on each floor, as well as in finished attics or basements
  • one CO monitor on each living level and in an attached garage

Plan on replacing your CO monitor every five to seven years. Choose as a replacement one with a fuel-cell electro-chemical sensor, which is a lot more sensitive to CO than older models have been, and one with a digital readout and “memory” for peak level that sends an alert for the highest CO level present in the home. Both of these latter two features are helpful to emergency personnel trying to determine the exposure levels that have occurred to the home’s occupants.

Your device should have an expiration date or build date on the back. If it doesn’t, it’s probably already past its expiration date, since including an expiration date is a fairly new practice.

The National Fire Protection Association recommends replacing smoke detectors every 10 years.

This important reminder brought to you by your friends at Jackson and Sons Heating and Air.

Jackson & Sons, Inc.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Eastern North Carolina (including Wayne, Johnston, Greene, Lenoir, Pitt and Duplin Counties) about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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