The other day we were reminded once again of just how important it is to have your smoke and CO detectors checked, particularly in the winter. Over 400 Americans die annually of carbon monoxide poisoning during the coldest months of the year, and over a third of fire-related deaths in the U.S. occur because the homeowner did not have a working smoke alarm. When, a couple of weeks ago, we were called in on a replacement call for a home in Medford, it occurred to us just how disastrous the scenario could have been if it wasn’t caught in time. For a single flat rate of replacement, this homeowner quite possibly saved their family’s life.
Here are some things all homeowners should know about smoke and carbon monoxide detectors:
- There are two main types of smoke detector: ionized and photoelectric. Experts say that ionized are better for catching quicker moving flames (i.e. kitchen fires) while photoelectric detectors more reliably detect smoldering furniture fires that fill a room with smoke.
- You should check the battery on your smoke detectors every six months. In fact, if you use battery operated detectors, go check them right now. Then set a reminder in your phone or computer’s calendar for the next check.
- If you own wired detectors like the homeowner in this scenario, you’re actually much better off. A smoke detector that is attached to your home’s electrical system will work so long as your panel is reliable. However, if you experience frequent power-outages, you should speak to a Raynor Electric expert about checking your panel; you may be better off with one of each type to be extra cautious.
- Carbon monoxide deaths are most common in the winter, since issues with furnaces are a common root cause of CO emissions in a home. In addition to having your carbon monoxide alarm checked or replaced if it is faulty, you can improve your home’s safety by calling Raynor Electric for a furnace maintenance check before the New Jersey winter sets in. Remember: manufacturers and safety experts alike suggest that you have your furnace tuned-up once a year!
We at Raynor Electric want to remind everyone that the statistics on fire and carbon monoxide damage and casualties are quite alarming and quite real. This Medford homeowner did the right thing by calling us immediately once she noticed there was a problem: shouldn’t you do the same? Perform the checks on your detectors, ask one of our experts about what detector system is best for your home, and call Raynor for a furnace maintenance check today!