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What to Consider When Buying a Smoke or Carbon Monoxide Alarm

The purchase of a smoke detector or carbon monoxide alarm represents a tiny investment compared to the huge dividend of safety. An early warning about a fire or CO leak could limit damage and save your life. The following advice from electrical contractors in Vancouver will help you pick out the right alarm system for your home.

Hardwired or Battery?

An alarm wired directly into a home eliminates the danger of forgetting to check the battery. The downside of course is that you have no hazard detection during a power outage. A hardwired alarm that includes a battery backup is the solution, and an electrician in North Vancouver can easily manage the install.

Battery-only alarms are perfectly acceptable as long as you check the battery every month to ensure continuous operation. They can also be placed conveniently on every level of a home and in bedrooms.

Ionization or Photoelectric Smoke Alarms?

Both ionization and photoelectric technology work well, but ionization alarms are more likely to issue false alarms when you’re cooking. Photoelectric devices are less likely to do this, and they do a good job of detecting smouldering cigarettes that cause so many house fires. For this reason, photoelectric alarms cost about twice as much as ionization alarms. An electrician serving Burnaby could offer advice about the best locations for mounting smoke alarms.

Separate Alarms or Combination?

Alarms that monitor for both fire and deadly gas cost more and need to be replaced after five to seven years. You might find better value with separate smoke alarms that last longer and dedicated CO monitors with displays that show the gas level.

Where to Place Smoke and CO Alarms?

Electricians throughout Vancouver recommend that you put smoke and CO alarms on every level of a home. You might think that the CO alarm only needs to be near the furnace and hot water heater, but an alarm sounding in the basement might not awaken people sleeping in second-story bedrooms. Whenever possible, it’s also helpful to install alarms away from kitchens and bathrooms to limit the possibility of annoying false alarms.

Specialists at AJ’s Electrical Service & Repair are available to answer your questions about electrical safety and upgrades. We’re your source for a licensed electrician in Coquitlam and the entire area.

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