When we inspect a home, more often than not we find that the prospective home does not meet smoke and carbon monoxide detector guidelines. We commonly find inoperable detectors or advise client to add additional smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. This article is meant to provide guidelines for the installation of smoke detectors and carbon monoxide.
Smoke alarms save lives. If there is a fire in your home, smoke alarms give you time to get out. Having a working smoke alarm cuts the chances of dying in a reported fire in half. Almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
The NFPA suggests that consumers use the following guidelines when installing smoke detectors:
Smoke detector should be installed on every floor.
Smoke detector should be installed in every bedroom.
Smoke detector should be installed outside of each sleeping area.
Smoke detector should be installed within 10 feet of cooking appliances.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Like smoke detectors, we inspect houses and find that carbon monoxide detector guidelines are not met. Like radon, carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas. It’s created when fuels burn incompletely. Carbon monoxide can result from several variables throughout the home, from running vehicles in an attached garage to improperly vented gas appliances. A carbon monoxide detector is the only device alerting you if this “invisible killer” is present in your home.
The NFPA suggests that consumers use the following guidelines when installing carbon monoxide detectors:
Carbon monoxide detector should be installed on every floor.
Carbon monoxide detector should be installed outside of each sleeping area.
Carbon monoxide detector should be located near furnace, water heater, or any other gas appliances.
Although not stated in the guidelines, we recommend placing a carbon monoxide detector near the door between an attached garage and the house.
In addition to the detectors, every house should be equipped with a fire extinguisher and a fire escape plan. If your home does not meet these guidelines we suggest you add or upgrade your detectors. Put off the yard work or painting projects and bring your fire safety plan and equipment up to par this weekend!
For more information visit the NFPA’s website.