Environmental Issue & Sick Building Syndrome Blog

Basic Lesson on Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

October 10th, 2013 9:20 AM by Dan Howard

What you probably do not know about smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Detectors vary widely in quality and sensitivity. Just like Goldilocks and the porridge, some are too sensitive and others not sensitive enough.     

IONIZATION smoke detectors are more sensitive to flaming fires and PHOTOELECTRIC smoke detectors alarms are more responsive to smoldering fires. Combination type smoke or both types together is the best selection for your home. 

Carbon Monoxide detectors should also be installed. Nighthawk brand detectors are regularly rated highly by Consumer Reports. You may read it here first, but you will someday see a major news story about this demonstration by the manufacturer Bacharach.  I have witnessed the demonstration twice. A brand new Nighthawk CO  detector was opened and then placed into a sealed plastic bag with calibration grade carbon monoxide gas certified at 100 parts per million. According to OSHA standards, employees are to immediately removed from a workplace with CO at that level. In both instances, it took over and hour for the detector alarm to go off. There is a delay built in alarm function response of CO detectors. The solution is to install a CO detector which also has a digital readout in a visible location.

October 6 to 12 is Fire Protection Week. This annual event is sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association. Even if you have never heard of Fire Protection Week or the NFPA, you have had your safety protected by the codes they develop and provide. These include the National Electrical Code, National Fuel Gas Code, the Standard for Chimneys and Fireplaces and dozens of more codes and standards that affect safety. For more information about the association go to www.NFPA.org

Posted in:General
Posted by Dan Howard on October 10th, 2013 9:20 AM



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