What kind of smoke alarm do I need?

smoke detector of fire alarm in action

When it comes time to replace your smoke alarms, you might be wondering what sort of smoke alarms are best for your home. Most states require smoke alarms to be installed in every home, and many have other requirements such as smoke detectors outside each bedroom.

Carbon Monoxide detectors aren’t always a requirement, but if you care about the safety of your family, you may wish to have them installed whether you are legally required to or not. Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas that can build up anywhere gas or other fuel is used.

This includes gas powered appliances, idling cars, but also charcoal grills or wood burning stoves. Any time these types of appliances are used, it’s possible to have a build up of carbon monoxide gases.

Carbon monoxide is a silent killer. Symptoms can creep on so slowly that many people don’t realize they are in danger before it is too late. The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include sleepiness, dizziness, nausea and headache.

These symptoms can easily be confused for everyday illness, but if left untreated carbon monoxide poisoning can result in death. A carbon alarm can help prevent all that.

Hardwired vs battery operated

Another option that many smoke alarms come with is the choice between battery operated detectors and hardwired ones. Both detectors will do the same job, alerting you to a problem within the house—as long as they have power.

One of the top reasons fire alarms don’t go off in an emergency is because a battery-operated smoke detector ran out of batteries, and they were never replaced. When a batter operated smoke alarm needs to be replaced, it beeps constantly.

Many people don’t understand that this is because the batteries need replaced and remove the batteries instead. With a hardwired smoke detector, this is never a problem. A hardwired smoke alarm goes its entire lifetime without ever needing a batter replaced, depending instead on a direct connection to electricity.

Since our houses are always connected to electricity, it’s more likely that your smoke alarm will be working during a fire compared to a battery operated one if you’re not prompt about changing batteries.

Although hardwired smoke alarms are hands down the safest option, they do require some skill to install. Fortunately, skilled help is available to make the installation process easier for you.

What smoke alarm is best?

In the end, any functioning smoke alarm is best. If you think you will be on top of replacing batteries and regularly checking the function of a battery-operated smoke alarm, it’s a fine choice. If you are the forgetful type, a hardwired option may be better.

As far as safety is concerned, a smoke alarm that also monitors for Co2 is also best. Although you can potentially see or smell smoke, Co2 is much harder to detect. Since the cost of a smoke alarm that also detects Co2 is only marginally more exp