How to Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors: A Complete Guide

It’s no secret that installing and properly maintaining smoke and carbon monoxide detectors hold the ability to save your life. One of the best features of these smoke and carbon monoxide detectors is that these devices are relatively easy and inexpensive to install. Different features can be found in various models, such as a 10-year backup battery and voice alerts, which means that it’s essential for you to understand CO detectors.

Testing Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detection Devices

The process of testing these devices is different depending on the various models. However, one of the most popular methods to testing such devices involves evaluating the response time to smoldering and smoking fires, as well as flaming fires.
When it comes to carbon monoxide detectors, the testing process involves placing the detection device against low CO levels (generally parts per million) and high CO levels (placed at 400 parts per million). In addition to this, it’s also dependent on carbon monoxide measurement readings through audio and display announcements.

Smoke Carbon Monoxide Detectors

What are the Two Best Types of Smoke Detectors?

When choosing a smoke detector, you have two different options. These are:

Photoelectric – Photoelectric smoke detection devices are best at detecting large particles that are typical of smoldering and smoky flames. However, these detection devices often fail to alarm homeowners of flaming and fast fires. One of the advantages of using a photoelectric smoke alarm is that these devices are less prone to generating false alarms from burnt food. Thus, these are the better option for kitchen areas.

Ionization – Ionization smoke detection devices are the best option when identifying smaller particles commonly found with fast and flaming fires. However, these alarms test poorly for detecting smoky and smoldering flames. In addition to this, these alarm detection devices are prone to generating false alarms from burnt food. Thus, you shouldn’t mount this smoke detector near your bathroom or kitchen.

Which Type of Smoke Detector is Best?

When looking at the types mentioned above of smoke detectors, we can see that both have advantages and disadvantages. This makes it challenging to conclude with one is best, as this is dependent on how you wish to use and mount such smoke detectors. Nonetheless, dual-sensor smoke detectors combine the elements of both photoelectric and ionization smoke detectors, which saves you the trouble of installing two separate devices.

Is There a Legal Requirement to Having a Smoke Detector?

Yes, there is a legal requirement associated with the installation of smoke detectors. These regulations dictate that you’re required to install at least one smoke alarm on every floor of the property where a room is used partly or wholly. In addition to this, carbon monoxide alarms are required to be installed in any room that contains solid power source fuel-burning appliances, such as a coal fire or wood burner. Our Washington and North Bend smoke detector and carbon monoxide inspection services can help you make sure a home is properly set up.

Smoke Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Where Should You Place a Carbon Monoxide Detector?

Carbon monoxide is described as being slightly lighter than air. In addition to this, it can also be found with rising and warming air. For this reason, these detectors should be mounted on a wall about five feet above the floor.