Are your smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors installed and working properly? If not, they can’t warn your family when lethal gas is present or a fire occurs and smoke is spreading through your home.
To ensure they’re ready and able to sound a shrill, live-saving alarm, put a detector checkup at the top of your spring home maintenance to-do list.
Checking Smoke/CO Detectors Regularly is Crucial for Safety
If you’re not testing your detectors regularly, you won’t know if the batteries have died or if a key component has worn out or failed. You need to test each device once a month and replace the batteries twice a year. This is critical even if your detectors are hard-wired, since your safety during a power outage depends on having functional back-up batteries.
How to Test Smoke Detectors
It’s best to check your owner’s manual for specific instructions, but generally, both battery-operated and hard-wired smoke detectors can be tested as follows:
- Locate the “test” button then press and hold it down – After a few seconds, the detector should emit a shrill, ear-piercing sound. If there’s no noise or the alarm is weak, replace the batteries and test it again.
- Test each device for smoke sensitivity – Hold two or three lighted wooden matches up to each detector, then blow out the flames to see if the smoke sets off the alarm.
- Make sure the alarms are heard loud and clear – Have a family member go as far from the device as possible to determine if the alarm is audible. If the sound is weak or muffled in certain areas, it’s wise to have additional detectors installed.
For safety, you should have a detector on each level of your home and in every bedroom. If your detection devices are over 10 years old, or you’re concerned whether there’s an adequate number placed in the correct locations, hiring a professional handyman to tackle installation and maintenance can provide peace of mind.
For expert help taking care of critical spring home maintenance tasks, contact the Cincinnati area’s comfort pros at Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing.
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"We scheduled an estimate AND a tune-up. We knew something was wrong with our furnace, but hoped we could make it through the rest of the season. Upon telling Bill what our furnace was doing, he warned us immediately what the possible outcome was going to be; a cracked heat exchanger. He watched the flames roll backward, tested carbon monoxide levels, which were so high they meter’s last reading was 5,600 before saying “high”. He immediately shut it down, tagged it, and explained that with levels that high and children in our home he wanted off right away. He continued his inspection and showed us via a camera that not only was it cracked in multiple places, but had holes all over it. He gave us a few options for repairing it; his knowledge as well as genuine concern was beneficial and refreshing. Luckily we also scheduled an estimator, Micah, to come too and we were able to get costs between repairing and replacing (with several options). We decided to replace with a much higher efficiency furnace and one sized properly to our home. Hands down, not only did they both provide us great service and knowledge, but without sounding dramatic, they may have saved our lives. This was our first time calling Apollo, but it won’t be our last."
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"Apollo is an excellent company. I always receive great service. Alex A. was professional and friendly. He kept me informed during the process of checking my furnace and heat pump to make sure they were working properly. The company makes sure you are notified who is coming and when they are on the way. All my interactions with the company have been wonderful."
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