Smoke Alarm
1. Why do I need to install smoke alarms?
More than half of fire deaths occur in the home, mainly between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Smoke and toxic fumes precede a fire and kill quickly when inhaled, making product detection vital. A smoke alarm will give that critically early warning, detecting smoke before you can see it or smell it.
2. Where should I install smoke alarms?
Having a smoke and fire alarm in the home is good, but having it in the right place is even better!
For minimum coverage, a smoke and fire alarm should be installed on every level of the home and in every sleeping area.
For maximum protection, a detector should be installed on every level including:
1. basements and finished attics.
2. each bedroom and in the hall outside of every sleeping area.
3. at the top and bottom of stairways.
4. rooms that are frequently used.
For reliable performance:
1.Vaccum the outside with a brush attachment every month.
2.Wipe the outside with a damp cloth.
3. What is the difference between ionization and photoelectric type smoke alarms?
Ionization alarms are best for responding somewhat faster to flaming fires. The vast majority of home fires are flaming fires. Photoelectric alarms are best for responding somewhat faster to smoldering fires and areas in the home prone to nuisance alarms from cooking. It is also best for households where a smoker is present as cigarettes cause most smouldering fires. For complete protection, use both ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms in your home.
A light transmission source and a photosensitive receiver is used in this design. Light that is transmitted fall upon the receiver. When smoke or dust enters the light path, some of the light is scattered or absorbed. The result of a increase of light falling upon the photosensitive receiver will cause an alarm.
Photoelectric smoke alarm is best for detecting smouldering fires.
Carbon Monoxide Alarm
1. Where is the proper place to install my residential Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors?
We recommend you place CO alarms near the sleeping areas, and on each level of the home. A good rule of thumb for the number and placement of CO alarms for your particular home is to place CO alarms near smoke and fire alarms that have been installed to meet current building code requirements in your area. Do not place CO alarms in the furnace room, kitchen or garage as these locations could lead to nuisance alarms.
2. Is one unit enough for my home and if not how many should I have?
Generally, one detector can be adequate for 1,200 to 1,500 square feet of living space. The most important determination for the number of CO alarms needed is whether an alarm can be heard in all sleeping areas. If you install only one CO alarm in your home, install the detector near bedrooms, not in the basement or furnace room.
3. At what height should I install my CO alarm?
For ease of viewing the visual indicators, it is recommended to place the CO alarm at eye level or above. Do not place the CO alarm in "dead air" spaces (no closer than 6" from the ceiling or floor) or turbulent air spaces such as by an open window, door or by a ceiling fan.
4. Is CO heavier or lighter than air?
CO is slightly lighter than air and as it begins to rise, it mixes with surrounding air and diffuses throughout the house.
5. Where does the CO come from?
Carbon monoxide may be caused by a number of things. Running a car in the garage, a fuel burning appliance emitting CO at start up or if flame is not burning properly, even cigarette smoke generates carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is produced when burning any fossil fuel, and is a product of incomplete combustion.
When your carbon monoxide alarm sounds, ventilate your home by opening windows and turn off all fuel burning appliances. After ventilating the area, make sure that no contaminant gases (aerosols, paints, solvents, etc. are present, they can also set off a CO alarm. Check to see if a car is running in the garage or a fuel-burning appliance has been turned on (furnace, water heater, stove, etc.) Contact a qualified technician to inspect your home for the source of CO.
If you are feeling flu-like symptoms (headache, nausea, dizziness, etc.) get to fresh air immediately and contact your physician or call for emergency medical services.
6. Will low levels of carbon monoxide harm me and my family? If we have been exposed to low levels of CO will this have a long term physical effect on us?
It depends on the concentration of CO as well as the length of exposure. Each individual will be effected in different ways which may include short term and long term physical problems. If you suspect that you have had long term exposure to CO, you should contact your family physician and have a "Carboxyhemomoglobin" level blood test done to see if there is any CO accumulation in your blood. Your physician can discuss with you what if any long term effects CO poisoning may have on you or your family members. Exposure to CO poisoning will have a different effect on each individual depending on length of exposure, CO concentration level, body weight, age, activity of the person at the time of poisoning, as well as many other contributing factors.