I mentioned that my family and I participated with Hope Worldwide in the Red Cross and HOPE Worldwide Martin Luther King Day Fire Safety and Disaster Prep Fair. During the day, we heard from Captain Anderson and Lieutenant Zitto from the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) who provided some really helpful advice. I am sharing the highlights regarding smoke and CO detectors below:
-Smoke detectors should be placed up high because smoke rises.
-You should have one within 15 feet of every sleeping area. In new constructions there is one required in every bedroom and in the living room. When one goes off they all go off. (Even if you don’t live in a new construction, consider buying a second or third one. You can take them with you when you move, on vacation and such.)
-There are different technologies – (ionization and photoelectric) used in smoke detectors. One uses ions and it will detect very small particles from a flame fire. The other one is photoelectric. It uses a laserbeam pointed away from a sensor and when big smoke particles come into it, then it basically reflects the light into the sensor. The two different technologies recognize two different types of smoke so the best thing to do is to have both if you can.
-There are a variety of new detectors. Some of them have ten-year sealed lithium batteries that you don’t have to worry about changing the battery. Some newer models have hush buttons. You can push the hush button to quiet the alarm for 7 to 10 minutes and it will reset automatically if the alarm goes off for harmless situations (i.e. from light cooking smoke). Nest even has a detector that sends messages to your smartphone or tablet.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
-Carbon monoxide will fill rooms evenly so CO detectors can be placed up high or down low. Either spot is fine as long as there is no other furniture blocking it.
Have one of each detector on every level of your home as a minimum.
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