About Smoke Alarms
Where should I place smoke detectors?
Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including the basement, making sure that there is an alarm outside every separate sleeping area. New homes are required to have a smoke alarm in every sleeping room and all smoke alarms must be interconnected.
Why is my smoke detector beeping?
When smoke detectors are activated by the by-products of combustion (smoke) they emit a loud screeching noise. If the detector is just emitting an intermittent “chirping” noise it means that the battery needs to be replaced.
Smoke Detector Assistance Program
Starting with the first of the year, 2007, the Willowick Fire Department initiated the “Smoke Detector Assistance Program”. This program is intended to help the elderly and disabled residents in the City of Willowick that need assistance with their smoke detectors. Assistance ranges from replacing old detectors, installing new detectors, and replacing batteries every six months. If you, or anyone you know of that needs assistance, please call the Willowick Fire Department at 440-585-1202 to enroll in this program.
Smoke detectors and/or batteries are not available at the fire department.Emergency Evacuation Planning Guide For People With Disabilities
What You Need to Know about Carbon Monoxide Detectors – They Aren’t Like Smoke Detectors!
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, carbon monoxide poisoning is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in America. Carbon monoxide detectors are available, but you need to understand how they work and what their limitations are in order to determine which brand of detector best suits your needs and, if you purchase a detector, how to use it to get the best protection.
Don’t assume that you are safe from carbon monoxide poisoning just because you have a detector installed. Carbon monoxide detectors are intended to protect healthy adults, so take the ages and health of family members into account when assessing the effectiveness of a detector. Also, be aware that the average life span of many carbon monoxide detectors is about 2 years. The ‘test’ feature on many detectors checks the functioning of the alarm and not the status of the detector. There are detectors that last longer, indicate when they need to be replaced, and have power supply backups — you need to check to see whether a particular model has the features you require. When deciding whether or not to purchase a carbon monoxide detector, you need to consider not only the number and type of carbon monoxide sources, but also the construction of the building. Newer building may have more airtight construction and may be better insulated, which make it easier for carbon monoxide to accumulate.
Frequently Asked Questions About Carbon Monoxide Detectors
What is carbon monoxide?
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless, invisible gas. Each carbon monoxide molecule is composed of a single carbon atom bonded to a single oxygen atom. Carbon monoxide results from the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, such as wood, kerosene, gasoline, charcoal, propane, natural gas, and oil.
Where is carbon monoxide found?
Carbon monoxide is present in low levels in the air. In the home, it is formed from incomplete combustion from any flame-fueled (i.e., not electric) device, including ranges, ovens, clothes dryers, furnaces, fireplaces, grills, space heaters, vehicles, and water heaters. Furnaces and water heaters may be sources of carbon monoxide, but if they are vented properly the carbon monoxide will escape to the outside. Open flames, such as from ovens and ranges, are the most common source of carbon monoxide. Vehicles are the most common cause of carbon monoxide poisoning.
How do carbon monoxide detectors work?
Carbon monoxide detectors trigger an alarm based on an accumulation of carbon monoxide over time. Carbon monoxide can harm you if you are exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide in a short period of time, or to lower levels of carbon monoxide over a long period of time. Carbon monoxide detectors require a continuous power supply, so if the power cuts off then the alarm becomes ineffective. Models are available that offer back-up battery power.
Why is carbon monoxide dangerous?
When carbon monoxide is inhaled, it passes from the lungs into the hemoglobin molecules of red blood cells. Carbon monoxide binds to hemoglobin at the same site as and preferentially to oxygen, forming carboxyhemoglobin. Carboxyhemoglobin interferes with the oxygen transport and gas exchange abilities of red blood cells. The result is that the body becomes oxygen-starved, which can result in tissue damage and death. Low levels of carbon monoxide poisoning cause symptoms similar to those of the flu or a cold, including shortness of breath on mild exertion, mild headaches, and nausea. Higher levels of poisoning lead to dizziness, mental confusion, severe headaches, nausea, and fainting on mild exertion. Ultimately, carbon monoxide poisoning can result in unconsciousness, permanent brain damage, and death. Carbon monoxide detectors are set to sound an alarm before the exposure to carbon monoxide would present a hazard to a healthy adult. Babies, children, pregnant women, people with circulatory or respiratory ailments, and the elderly are more sensitive to carbon monoxide than healthy adults.
Where should I place a carbon monoxide detector?
Because carbon monoxide is slightly lighter than air and also because it may be found with warm, rising air, detectors should be placed on a wall about 5 feet above the floor. The detector may be placed on the ceiling. Do not place the detector right next to or over a fireplace or flame-producing appliance. Keep the detector out of the way of pets and children. Each floor needs a separate detector. If you getting a single carbon monoxide detector, place it near the sleeping area and make certain the alarm is loud enough to wake you up.
What do I do if the alarm sounds?
Don’t ignore the alarm! It is intended to go off before you are experiencing symptoms. If the alarm activates, get all members of the household to fresh air, and ask whether anyone is experiencing any of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning and call 911. The Willowick Fire Department has monitors capable of determining the levels of carbon monoxide in your home and in some cases, the source of the carbon monoxide. Have appliances or chimneys checked by a professional as soon as possible.