We as firefighters always remind you to check your detectors so they may save your life. They are mandated by laws and required to obtain certificates of occupancy. In recent years the technology used for these detectors has changed dramatically and it is important for all of us to understand how they work to determine if we are truly protecting our families.
Fires in recent years burn hotter and faster due to plastics and synthetic materials used in our furnishings and contents. The laws have also changed for types of detectors sold in New York and their placement. If you have an older home or deciding on new protection consider the types of detectors you will buy.
Smoke Detector frequently asked questions explains the types of detectors used and recommended practices for installation. In summary two types of detectors should be installed in your home:
1)Smoke Detectors -we recommend detectors that are both “Ionization” and “Photoelectric” capable on every level of the home, one in each bedroom, and one in the hallway leading to bedrooms. They should have 10 year lithium batteries as required by NYS Law if battery powered. Interconnected and hard wired will give the best protection as they all sound at once. Note the manufacture date on back and replace after 10 years.
2) CO Detectors– These are required in NYS by “Amanda’s Law” since 2009 for all 1 and 2 Family or Multi Family residences that have fuel burning appliances or attached garages. CO (carbon monoxide) is an odorless gas that can be deadly. We recommend one on each level of the home and plugged into an outlet if available. Battery powered CO alarms should be tested monthly. We recommend separate detectors rather than combo units with smoke alarms since they are replaced after 5 years instead of 10 years.
Technology is constantly changing and we have become reliant on “Smart” technology to assist our daily lives. Smoke and CO detection is also available in smart technology through several manufactures and can replace existing similar protection while adding the convenience of notifications, turning on lights, voice commands, etc.. When replacements are made have them installed by competent people to avoid false alarms from cooking and shower steam while affording the correct location for optimal performance.