Angie's How To Purchase Smoke and CO Detectors

Date Published: Nov. 12, 2019

Time: 5 Minutes

Did you know that each year, fires kill approximately 4,000 Americans and injure 30,000 more? It's easy to keep your family safe - purchase smoke and CO detectors! Basic detector models start around $15, while combination carbon monoxide and smoke alarms cost about $35. We recommend springing for the combo - CO is called the "silent killer" because it's colorless and odorless!

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1Determine how many smoke detectors you need.

Fire safety experts recommend you have a smoke detector on every floor of your home, including the attic and basement. Also, make sure every room with a fuel-burning appliance (e.g. furnace, boiler, water heater) has a smoke detector nearby. Finally, we recommend you put a detector in or right outside of each bedroom.

2Go shopping!

You can buy smoke detectors at hardware and home improvement stores. They start at about $10 for basic models and $35 and up for CO alarms. For a basic option, we like the First Alert SA303CN3.

3Check standards.

Take a look at the package, and be sure the smoke alarms meet the Underwriters Laboratories Standard 217 and Carbon Monoxide alarms meet UL Standard 2034. Also, look at the date of manufacture on the back of the alarm - the newer the better!

4Place detector up high because smoke rises.

When you mount the alarm, remember that smoke rises. Mount the alarm on the ceiling or as high as possible on the wall. For CO detectors, keep them away from windows because fresh air may throw off the sensor.

5Check insurance discounts.

Now, contact your insurance company. Some insurers offer a 5 percent discount for homes with smoke alarms!