Normally, the rest of that is; “…..there’s fire“. This week’s show suggested; “…..there had better be a smoke detector“. With the changing of the clocks (for most), the flipping of the mattress, and changing of the food in the emergency kit, came the change of the battery in the smoke detector. With that, the carbon monoxide detector should be done too. Your detectors may be “hard wired”, negating the battery check, but an annual inspection and test still needs to be done. Check the expiry date on the unit. It should be on a stamp, sticker, or even embossed in the plastic. If there isn’t any date shown, replace it. Smoke detectors are good for 7-10 years (closer to seven, according to most manufacturers) and carbon monoxide are only good for five years. “Good for” means that the reliability of the unit is no longer acceptable because the sensor(s) become polluted with dust, pollen, cigar/cigarette smoke, cooking grease etc. When servicing the smoke and CO detectors, DO NOT cheap out on the battery. Use an alkaline battery of name brand value, and NEVER “borrow” the battery from the detector. Also, check the date on the battery package. Yes, there’s a date there too. Condos, multi-family homes and stratas will likely have their own regiment of testing, cleaning, and replacement, so check on what that is and make sure that yours is included.
If you ever hear the smoke detector “chirping” and there’s a new battery in it and there’s no smoke/fire, it’s possible that it’s the “warning” that the unit has met it’s expiry date. With a CO detector, a false alarm is harder to prove, so be safe and get fresh air in and have the unit checked out.
Where to place them? Smoke detectors are on the ceiling or wall, as close as possible to the ceiling. Avoid placement near excessive heat or “natural” smoke sources, like furnaces, fireplaces, too close to the stove/oven etc. My toaster would qualify as the latter.
While on the topic of safety maintenance; check your fire extinguishers for levels. If the gauge says “full”, then hold it upside down and “spank” the bottom and shake it – as in like a whip cream aerosol. This agitates the chemicals inside and keeps them mixed up. No gauge? Replace annually. Empty? Recharge.
There’s a lot more on safety, not just fire and CO, to be told, so stay tuned. As well, there was a lot more great stuff from this week’s show to enjoy. Here’s another pod cast for your consideration;