Whether you’ve bought a brand new home or have purchased an older home for your family, it is important to make sure that you have a working system of detectors in your home to protect you from fire, smoke inhalation, and carbon monoxide and dioxide poisoning.
The most common type of detector used in homes is the smoke alarm/detector; upwards of ninety percent of homes in North America have smoke alarms in their home though not all of them may be in working condition due to dead or missing batteries.
Smoke alarms can work in a few different ways; the most common are optical, ionization, and air sampling detectors. Optical detectors are generally the best for not going off over minor issues like smoke from cooking; ionization alarms are cheaper but so sensitive that they are prone to nuisance alarms from minor smoke from cooking and toasting food.
Other forms of alarms test for substances other than smoke in your home to keep your family safe; two of these chemicals are carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. A fire produces dangerous chemicals such as carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide into your home, but they can also be in evidence for other reasons.
Carbon monoxide and dioxide can be present in a home from car exhaust, heaters, fireplaces, and gas appliances. It is a good idea to install CO and CO detectors in rooms that have potential sources of the gasses as well as outside bedrooms.
Interestingly, constant moderate, non-life threatening levels of CO in your home can cause hallucinations, delirium, emotional issues, and confusion which are the most commonly accounted symptoms of a “haunting”; in fact, in the past, some reported hauntings were discovered to be caused by faulty furnaces leaking toxic fumes into homes.
The key ways to keep your family safe are to make sure that you have enough detectors in your home, including one inside each bedroom or in the hallway outside them. Make sure that you change the batteries in your detectors twice a year and make sure that they’re in good working order by testing them at that time. The recommended time to change the batteries is usually at the beginning and end of daylight savings time and usually the media gives the public reminds at this time to do it. Remember that even new homes have their hazards and that the best way to keep your family safe is to be proactive!