Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide alarms save lives.

When a smoke or Carbon Monoxide alarm sounds, get everyone outside, call 911, and stay outside. Even if you can’t smell or see anything, stay outside until your residence is inspected by SJIF&R. We’ll be there shortly after you call 911.

Plan with your family ahead of time about where to meet away from the house, such as at your driveway or the corner of your yard.

Smoke Alarms

Whether you’re awake or asleep, a properly installed and maintained smoke alarm is constantly on alert, scanning the air for fire and smoke. If there is a fire in your home, smoke spreads fast, usually much faster than flames, and you need smoke alarms to give you and your family time to get out.

Smoke Alarm on Ceiling
Smoke Alarm on Ceiling
  • Did you know that 2/3 of fatal fires occur in homes with no working smoke alarms?
  • Did you know that roughly half of home fire deaths result from fires reported between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. when most people are asleep?
  • Did you know that most people who die in a fatal fire do so from inhalation of hot and toxic gasses, not from burns?

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, tasteless and toxic gas produced as a by-product of combustion. Any fuel burning appliance, vehicle, tool or other device has the potential to produce dangerous levels of CO gas. Examples of CO producing devices commonly in use around our homes include:

  • Automobiles
  • Generators (inside or outside near a window!)
  • Charcoal grills
  • Propane heaters
  • Fireplaces and wood stoves
  • Fuel fired furnaces (non-electric)
  • Gas stoves
CO Alarm by Floor
CO Alarm by Floor

Do NOT depend on your nose to tell whether a space is safe or not. You may initially smell exhaust, but as devices warm up and burn cleaner, and as you get acclimated, you’ll lose the ability to smell the exhaust. Remember, you cannot smell or sense Carbon Monoxide!

  • Did you know that CO from generators are a leading cause of death during long power outages?
  • Did you know that SJIF&R receives more 911 pages every year for legitimately high CO levels within a home than from fire alarms?

Free Alarms Available

Contact us to receive free battery-operated combination smoke and CO alarms. We are unable to replace hardwired smoke alarms.

Combination vs. Separate Smoke and CO Alarms

It is true that smoke generally rises (because of the heat it contains), while CO is slightly heavier than air and will slowly settle over time. In a perfect world, smoke detectors get mounted up high, on or near the ceiling, while CO detectors get mounted closer to the floor. However, combination detectors have improved significantly, and as long as you have a UL or Intertek Electrical Testing Labs (ETL) certified alarm, you can rest assured that they will do the job if you install and maintain them correctly. If you are to only have one type, SJIF&R strongly encourages you to use combination alarms.

How to Install and Maintain Your Alarms

  1. Install alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area such as a hallway, and make sure you have at least one alarm on every level of your home.
  2. Test your alarms every month
  3. Replace all alarms in your home every 10 years, or earlier if specified by the manufacturer. The alarms lose their ability, over time, to detect smoke and CO, so when they expire, they need to be replaced. If you’re unsure, replace them.
  4. Replace your batteries every year, even if you have a hardwired detector. When you change your clock in the fall is a good time to change your batteries. If the batteries cannot be replaced, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on when they should be replaced.

Questions or Concerns? We want you to be safe, so please contact us anytime!