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Fireplace and Stove Surrounds

Updated on November 21, 2015

Why do I need a carbon monoxide detector?

Carbon monoxide detectors are an essential piece of equipment for your home, and are now considered to be as important as smoke detectors. Carbon monoxide is the largest cause of deaths by poisoning in the United States. You cannot see or smell carbon monoxide, so it is vital that you have an alarm in your property to alert you if the levels of carbon monoxide become dangerously high. You may also want to install an alarm in your garage or shed, especially if you have any appliances that burn fuel that you use on a regular basis. If you do not already own a carbon monoxide detector, then you need to purchase one as a matter of urgency. The following advice can help you choose the right alarm for your property.

What Should The Volume Be?

You will want the alarm to be loud enough that you will be able to hear it clearly if it were to sound. You may also want to consider that you may need the alarm to be loud enough to wake you if it goes off when you are asleep. Ideally you will want the volume of your carbon monoxide detector to be at least ten decibels.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning / Educational Video

Should The Alarms Be Interconnected?

Interconnected alarms can be a good choice in a large property, because they can alert you if there is a problem in another part of the house. These types of alarms would traditionally need to be connected through hard wiring, but more recently technology has developed to allow them to become wireless.

Is Voice Alert Necessary?

A voice alert can be a good choice in homes that have people who may find that an alarm would cause them to panic. Older people for example may prefer an alarm that will warn them verbally when carbon monoxide levels reach a dangerous level.

Nest Protect WiFi smoke and carbon monoxide detector

How Long Will The Sensor Last?

There are many factors that can affect how long a sensor in a detector will last. Generally speaking, you will want to choose an alarm that guarantees that the sensor will last for at least five years. Some alarms will have a warning system that will alert you when the sensor is coming to the end of its useful life.

What Display Should I Choose?

A number of different pieces of information can be found out from looking at the display of a carbon monoxide detector. You can monitor the levels of carbon monoxide that the detector as monitored and it can also let you know when the batteries need to be replaced.

Do I Need An Alarm With Testing Modes?

The ability to be able to test your alarm is very important as this will ensure that you are able to make sure that your alarm is still working. Testing of these alarms can usually be done by touching a button, which will make sure that the alarm will sound when it is needed. Testing should be carried out on a regular basis, and it is recommended that this should be at least once a month.

What Are The Legal Issues?

If you are planning on selling your property in the near future, than you may need to install a carbon monoxide detector. This may also apply if you are planning to rent your property out. Check with your local authority if you are unsure of the rules that apply in your local area.

How Should They Be Installed?

The two main options for the installation of carbon monoxide alarms is for them to be hard wired, or to be operated by batteries. Many people choose battery operated alarms because they are cheaper to run, and will still work even if the power fails. However, if you already have a hard wired smoke alarm, then you may want to add your carbon monoxide detector to this system.

The Carbon Monoxide Installation

How Many Alarms Will I Need?

The most important thing to think about when you are deciding how many alarms you will need is that you will want to be sure that you will hear an alarm wherever you are in your property. It is recommended that you have at least one alarm on each floor of your property. It is also a good idea to have an alarm in any bedrooms, as you will be more susceptible to carbon monoxide when you are sleeping because you won't notice that you are starting to feel unwell.

What Other Features Are Important?

The features of the alarm that you choose will ultimately depend on what you want to get from the alarm. As you shop around for an alarm, you can start to narrow down your list to the alarms that have features you think you will find most useful. If you do not have a separate smoke alarm, then you may want to consider a system that detects smoke as well as carbon monoxide.

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