The best location for a carbon monoxide detector is to go low. A dual smoke detector / carbon monoxide detector is NOT what you may think.
Many people do not understand that carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless gas. It is also very dense. Carbon monoxide gas actually settles in low places as it is denser than air.
Buying a smoke detector / carbon monoxide detector combination may seem like a good idea (and more cost effective) but it is the opposite.
A smoke detector alarms when smoke rises from a fire or smoldering object. A carbon monoxide detector alarms when the gas settles in a low area. Therefore, the 2 different alarms must be in different locations.
The location for a carbon monoxide detector is beside the gas log fireplace or the lowest point in the common room. We suggest a carbon monoxide detector location outside of sleeping areas mounted low. Refer to the instructions of the alarm you buy.
We carry carbon monoxide sensors in our vehicles. We are happy to install these for you for a nominal fee.
If there is a chimney or fireplace in your basement, bedroom or other places, install a detector in EACH room. Some alarm companies will monitor the detectors also.
A little known home insurance discount opportunity:
Ask your home insurance or renter’s insurance company about any discounts that may be available for smoke and carbon monoxide detector installations.
We found our insurance company reduced the premiums enough to pay for the yearly monitoring of our alarm / smoke system. It never hurts to ask. Call them after you install the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. If possible, tie them into your alarm system.
Now you can sleep at ease knowing your family is safe from deadly gases and smoke.
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One of the most frequently asked questions in our business is “how to burn wood in a fireplace”. A lot of us were taught in scouts or from our family and friends. Often, the skill is not totally the best.
Here are 9 key stages on how to burn wood in a fireplace.
Get an annual chimney check – Have chimneys inspected annually and cleaned as necessary. This reduces the risk of fires and carbon monoxide poisonings due to creosote build-up or obstructions in the chimney.
Keep it clear – Keep tree branches and leaves at least 15 feet away from the top of the chimney.
Build it right – Place dry, seasoned firewood or fire logs at the rear of the fireplace on a supporting grate using the following top-down fire method. Start by placing the largest pieces of wood on the bottom of the fireplace grate or wood stove, with the ends going front to back (opposite of what you were taught). This front to back method allows the air to mix well with the fuel. Place smaller wood on top with their ends going side to side. Keep alternating your rows of wood using smaller and smaller pieces until your wood is stacked about ½ the height of the fireplace. At this point you will begin placing your kindling (the smallest pieces of wood). Again, stack smaller and smaller pieces until there are simple wood shavings on top. The shavings on top should be small enough to light with a single match. As the fire burns from the top to the bottom, it will continue to ignite the wood below. Only a little smoke is created as the fire burns hotter and more cleanly from the top of the stack. Burning wood this way prevents smoke and unburnt gases from entering your cold chimney. This can potentially adhere to the chimney walls causing creosote.
Keep the hearth area clear – Combustible material too close to the fireplace or to a wood stove, could easily catch fire. Keep furniture at least 36” away from the hearth.
Use a fireplace screen – Use metal mesh or a screen in front of the fireplace to catch flying sparks that could ignite or burn holes in the carpet or flooring.
Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors – Place detectors throughout the house and check batteries in the spring and fall. An easy way to remember to check: When you change your clocks for Daylight Savings Time, check your batteries.
Never have a fire in a fireplace unattended – Before turning in for the evening, be sure that the fire is fully extinguished. Supervise children and pets closely around wood stoves and fireplaces when in use.