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Safety First: Facts Every Homeowner Needs to Know about Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Safety First: Facts Every Homeowner Needs to Know about Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Most homeowners don’t even think about two of the most important electronic devices in their home: the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

So many homes these days have lots of electronic devices for everything from making toast to surfing the internet and streaming movies. However, most homeowners don’t even think about two of the most important electronic devices in their home: the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Keeping You Safe

In the event of a fire or carbon monoxide leak, early detection is the key to survival. The sooner your detectors can alert you of a problem, the sooner you will be able to evacuate and call emergency services. In many states (including Maryland!) and counties, there are laws governing the installation and maintenance of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Smoke Detectors

The two main types of smoke detectors used today are ionization detectors and photoelectric detectors. An ionization smoke detector uses an extremely small amount of radioactive material inside the detection chamber. If smoke enters the chamber and interrupts the charge, it triggers the alarm. In a photoelectric smoke detector, a small beam of light is used in the detection chamber. If smoke crosses the beam, it triggers the alarm.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

There are actually three common types of carbon monoxide detectors: biomimetic, metal oxide semiconductor, and electrochemical. The electrochemical type is less common for residential detectors and is mostly used in industrial facilities. Since carbon monoxide is both colorless and odorless (and extremely deadly), carbon monoxide detectors are particularly important. In biomimetic detectors, there is a small chamber filled with a special type of gel. If carbon monoxide comes into contact with that gel, it will change color and the special optical sensor within the detector will trigger the alarm. The metal oxide semiconductor detector has a small chip inside that when it comes into contact with carbon monoxide, the charge within is disrupted which is what causes the alarm to activate.

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This entry was posted on Friday, November 2nd, 2018 at 5:00 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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