July 2010
Small Detectors Make for Big Security

If you can protect your family from a hazardous fire or poisonous gas, will you? For many, this chance is missed by simply failing to install a smoke detector and carbon monoxide (CO) detector inside their home.

Smoke Detectors

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 12 percent of homes in the U.S. do not have a properly functioning

smoke detector, yet these residences account for half of all fires. It is also estimated that one-third of all smoke detectors in place are not operating effectively.

When a working unit is present, the chance of dying from a fire is cut in half. A smoke detector can protect your family from fires while sleeping, so make sure a unit is located near all resting areas.

For best results, smoke detectors are normally installed on the ceiling or high on a wall away from kitchen fumes and garage exhaust. Test units for function at least once a month and expect them to last around 10 years.

Even though the price of today's smoke detector is less expensive than past models, modern units are considerably more reliable. If you have thought about replacing the units in your home, now is the time. Buy a smoke detector that will protect your family for years to come.

CO Detectors

A smoke detector is an obvious safety device for your home, but a CO detector is just as important. On average, 170 people in the U.S. die every year from CO produced by non-automotive consumer products. These products include malfunctioning fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, ranges, water heaters and room heaters or engine-powered equipment such as portable generators; fireplaces and burning charcoal.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's (CPSC) website provides information on CO and hazard prevention. CO is a colorless, odorless, gas that is extremely harmful to the human body upon exposure. CO detectors are designed to identify potentially life-threatening levels of the dangerous gas.

CO detectors should be installed according to the manufacturer's instructions. CPSC recommends that one CO detector be installed in the hallway outside the bedrooms in each separate sleeping area of the home. CO detectors may be installed into a plug-in receptacle or high on the wall.

If the alarm signal sounds, do not try to find the source of the CO - get out of the area as soon as possible. It is also very important that you never ignore an alarm signal. After hearing an alarm, immediately move outside to fresh air and call your emergency service, fire department or 911.

For more information visit these websites:
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Consumer Product Safety Comission (CPSC)

Read other articles from The Walton EMC Gasette:
Playing it Safe

Walton EMC Natural Gas Lets You Choose