In most countries these days, it is mandatory to have smoke detectors or alarms and other fire prevention devices such as fire extinguishers in homes and buildings. If not by law, insurance companies are nudging the standard to become mainstream because they often give a financial incentive through substantial discounts to building and home owners who install these safety devices.
All images used are from creative commerce section (free to use and share) http://www.americanalarm.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Smoke-Detector.jpg
Even if it is not a requirement wherever you live, it is better to take safety into your own hands and safeguard the lives of your loved ones and your property. It may also be of benefit to you to get some training to be an electrician if you haven’t already, in order to do the necessary maintenance required.
Below is a guide on how you can install a smoke alarm and a carbon monoxide detector in your home.
1. Find a good spot to install the smoke detector
Fire fighters recommend installation of smoke alarms to be on high ceilings or walls and away from windows and exterior doors.
The main reason for installing a smoke detector high up is that smoke usually fills a room from the ceiling and down towards the floor. You therefore want to install the smoke detector high enough so that you have enough time to take action or evacuate the room or building where the smoke or fire is accumulating.
It is also important to consider the room where you will be installing the smoke detector. You will want to avoid installing it in a kitchen because it will be easy to trigger a false alarm if accidentally overcook some food. It will be more preferable to install the smoke alarm on hallways or near bedrooms in order to give good forewarning on detection of a smoke or fire hazard.
All images used are from creative commerce section (free to use and share) http://fc04.deviantart.net/fs6/i/2005/095/d/e/Carbon_Monoxide_Detector_by_Jay13x.jpg
2. Find a good spot to install the carbon monoxide alarm
Installation of carbon monoxide alarms on the other hand should be near heating sources or near any device or appliance that could release carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is a dangerous gas in closed environments because the gas is colorless, odorless and diffuses quickly and relatively evenly throughout a room and towards the rest of the house.
A suitable spot to install a carbon monoxide alarm is away from children and pets in order to prevent any interference with the gadgets operation and efficiency. With carbon monoxide detectors, it is also important to note that most of them have a chemical compound that is used to detect the presence of carbon monoxide in the air; this chemical compound needs to be replenished over time.
All images used are from creative commerce section (free to use and share) http://s0.geograph.org.uk/geophotos/01/53/13/1531342_444856c4.jpg
3. Installation and maintenance
Most smoke and carbon monoxide detectors will have a manual to install them or to mount them on a wall or ceiling and all you have to do is to follow the instructions as described in the manual. As for maintenance, you will at least need to change batteries at least once a year to ensure that the gadget is functioning optimally.