With the arrival of the cooler temperatures in Atlanta comes the increase need for heat within the home. Consequently, most homes in Atlanta burn combustible fuels (propane, natural gas, wood and fuel oil) to provide that heat. Multiple issues arrise with the burning of fuels, but the primary two deadly issues are carbon monoxide poisoning (a by product of a fire or combustion) and smoke inhalation which often contains many different kinds of toxic, airborne and deadly byproducts.
The deadly fire in Gwinnett County for a woman in her late 40’s should be a wake up call for many Atlanta residence. It was reported that this was the 2nd fire in her home this year, the first on April 23, 2010. What is troubling for me is that it appears that she did not take corrective action from the first fire. What also may surprise you is that we often see many of the mistakes in homes throughout the Atlanta area.
Better than 90% of sites we visit for security alarm systems lack security safety devices. Smoke detectors are often placed in wrong locations, are improperly installed, aged beyond the 10 year recommendation or are insufficient because of the already mentioned issues. Because we care about our customers, we felt it was time to remind folks of the respect we need to have for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
So here are some basic safety questions that you need to ask yourself about detectors.
- When were the smoke detectors purchased? (If older than 10 years, replace them. Every manufacturer recommends replacement every 10 years.)
- Where are they located? (You need one in every sleeping room and by every furnace or water heater.)
- When did you test them last? (Test them monthly)
- Should they trigger, is anyone notified? (attach them to your monitored security system!)
- Do you have a carbon monoxide detector by your furnace or water heater?
How you answered those questions and consequently the action you take (or don’t) may determine your survival of the upcoming winter and associated cooler temperatures that may force the issues to the surface. Taking the time to review detector locations, subsequently testing the detectors, updating units and replacement of aged or defective detectors in your home are wise choices that you will not regret.