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Why You Need Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors in Your Home

Our smoke restoration team recommends that you regularly test smoke and fire alarms as well as carbon monoxide detectors. 

Our smoke restoration team recommends that you regularly test smoke and fire alarms as well as carbon monoxide detectors. 

Did you know that smoke inhalation caused by fires is the most common form of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning? Not only can CO ignite or even explode if it comes into contact with a spark or flame, but it can also cause serious health issues and even death when inhaled. Protect your most valuable assets. Our Proserve DKI fire and smoke damage restoration team answer your questions on where CO can be detected in a home, signs of CO poisoning and smoke inhalation, and how you can prevent smoke and fire damage as well as CO leaks with the right detectors and alarms.

Where Can Carbon Monoxide Be Detected in Your Home?

Carbon monoxide emits from sources that burn fuel, including fuel-burning appliances such as:

  • Gas ranges
  • Fireplaces
  • Water heaters
  • Charcoal grills
  • Wood or gas stoves

CO can also be found in cigarette smoke, inside attached garages from idling vehicles, and in powerboats, trailers, or RVs.

What are the Dangers and Signs of Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Inhalation?

Known as the silent killer, CO is a colourless, odourless, and tasteless gas, made up of one part carbon and one part oxygen.

Even breathing in CO for a short time can induce a headache, weakness, fatigue, and shortness of breath and can deadly for people with coronary disease or weakened immune systems.

When found in high quantities within a contained or unventilated space, CO poisoning can cause death within five minutes.

Smoke, even from a small fire, can also lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome and respiratory failure.

What are the Different Types of CO and Smoke Detectors?

Carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and alarms save lives. Look for models that sound off an alarm or other warning signal when smoke, fire, or CO is detected in the atmosphere.

The most common detectors include:

  • Ionization fire detectors. Best for detecting fast, flaming fires and small particles in the air, rather than for smoke.
  • Photoelectric smoke detectors. Helpful in detecting smoky fires and large particles in the air.
  • Dual-sensor smoke detectors. Detect both fire types.
  • Carbon monoxide detectors that only detect CO.
  • Combination units that use ionization or photoelectric smoke detectors and have a CO detection component.

Most detectors and alarms today come in both conventional, non-internet connected models, as well as in “smart” models that have a digital display and can be connected via WiFi to your smartphone, helpful when you are away from your home.

Where Should You Place Smoke Alarms and CO Detectors in your Home?

Our fire damage restoration team recommends that you install a carbon monoxide (CO) detector, and smoke alarms on each level of your home, including:

  • All bedrooms
  • Hallways close to sleeping areas
  • Top and bottom of stairways
  • Kitchen
  • Laundry room
  • Basement
  • Garage

What Should Be Done if You Detect Smoke or CO in Your Home?

There are several steps you should take if CO, smoke or fire is detected:

  • Exit the home
  • Call 911 immediately
  • Establish a muster station and make sure everyone is accounted for
  • Check the condition of each person that has exited the home
  • Alert 911/medical if anyone exhibits symptoms of CO poisoning or smoke inhalation
  • Call a fire restoration company such as Proserve DKI for emergency smoke damage and fire damage cleanup services
  • Do not re-enter the home until the authorities say it is safe to do so

Make sure all smoke alarms and CO detectors are regularly maintained and inspected and read the 6 Most Common Causes of House Fires in Alberta, and how to prevent them.

Proserve DKI serves Fort McMurray and Fort Buffalo residents with 24/7, 365-day emergency disaster relief. Call us at 1-780-791-3663 for all sewer, flood, water, wind, smoke, biohazard, and fire clean up and damage restoration services.