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How Often Should I Check My Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarms?

How Often Should I Check My Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarms?

How many smoke detectors do I need?

How many smoke detectors you need depends on the size of your living quarters. According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), the average three-bedroom, two-bathroom house with a basement and attic needs nine smoke detectors and at least four carbon monoxide alarms.

The Importance of Functioning Smoke Detectors

While most of the country may be losing an hour of sleep, we are also gaining an extra hour of daylight. The days will be long and sunny again before you know it! This is a good time to check the batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms. Do this twice a year at the time change, and you’ll never skip on safety.

It is estimated that nearly half of the house fires that failed to set off alarms were the result of expired batteries or entirely removed batteries from the smoke detectors. Many homeowners don’t know when or how often to check their smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. This could lead to a dangerous situation.

These alarms are responsible for protecting you from house fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. If you fail to check them regularly, you run the risk of having a detector malfunction. That is why it is important to conduct regular tests to ensure the batteries are functional and that the system is running properly.

Testing Smoke Detectors

The basic smoke detector test involves pressing the test button and waiting a few seconds. When the alarm sounds, you will know that the batteries are working correctly and that the system is functional. However, it is also a good idea to conduct a crisis test to ensure the system will react properly to the presence of smoke. For this test, you can hold a candle or small flame about twelve to eighteen inches below the detector. Once the alarm sounds, you can turn the system off.

Testing Carbon Monoxide Detectors

To test your carbon monoxide detector, you may need to notify your home security company and set the system to test mode. For most systems, you will press the test button to check that the batteries are working. Depending on what type of carbon monoxide detector you have, you may need to press and hold the test button until you hear two beeps. You can then release the button and press it again until you hear four beeps. Once the four beeps sound, you will know that an alert has been sent to your monitoring station.

As a rule, you should replace your carbon monoxide detector at least once every five years. During the heating season, you may need to run a test as often as once a month, particularly if you use a lot of gas appliances. This can help ensure you and your family are safe from carbon monoxide poisoning.

The Importance of Checking Your Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors

If the batteries in your smoke or carbon monoxide detectors are expired, or there are no batteries in them at all, you may be unable to get out of your home in time to avoid negative health consequences. Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that can be fatal at high levels. If your home is not properly ventilated, or your gas furnace is malfunctioning, it may create dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. By testing the system twice a year in the spring and fall, you can rest assured that you will be warned of any hazardous situations.

At NU-Air Heating & Cooling, LLC, we want homeowners and business owners to be safe and comfortable all year long. If you are concerned about your gas furnace malfunctioning, we can inspect the system and repair necessary components. In addition, we provide services for a variety of heating, air conditioning, and ventilation issues. Call us today at (985) 288-2445 to learn how our high-quality services and products could benefit you.

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