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Carbon Monoxide – Choosing Protection

How to Choose a Carbon Monoxide Alarm

Because a safe home is the only option, we offer plenty of choices.

Now that you know a little more about the dangers of carbon monoxide, the next logical question is “what can I do to protect my home?”  Of course, before you go choosing your alarms, it helps to familiarize yourself with technology, features and other factors.

Things to look for in an alarm

We recommend choosing CO alarms that have the most accurate sensing technology available. CO alarms are designed to alert you when carbon monoxide levels have begun to accumulate over a period of time, and will sound before most people would experience any CO poisoning symptoms. The more accurate the alarm, the greater chance you and your family have of responding appropriately to the problem.

Below are key factors to look for when purchasing a CO alarm:
Electrochemical sensor: Alarms with electrochemical sensors are more stable during humidity and temperature changes and resist reacting to common household chemicals that may cause false readings. Kidde’s CO alarms include Nighthawk technology, which has been proven to be the world’s most accurate CO sensing technology based on claims by major manufacturers.
End-of-life warning: This feature alerts consumers when it’s time to replace the alarm. Kidde is the only major manufacturer who tests its CO alarms for long-term reliability, and whose alarms have a built-in end-of-life feature.
UL or CSA Listed: CO alarms should meet the strict third-party standards set by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or Canadian Standards Association (CSA). A UL Listed or CSA Listed label should be printed on the product’s packaging. Kidde is the only major manufacturer whose CO alarms currently meet the strict standards set forth by both UL and CSA.

 

Also, be sure to consider these major features:

Accuracy: Look for a statement on the package about the alarm’s accuracy level. If the CO alarm is UL Listed, then the accuracy statement will have been certified by UL, too.
Battery-Operated: Consumers who live in areas prone to power outages or who own a gas-powered generator should consider a battery-powered CO alarm with a backlit digital display. Battery-powered units offer 24-hour-a-day CO monitoring when power is interrupted. The backlit digital display allows the user to view the CO level in the dark. The alarm can also be placed on a shelf or wall or moved from room to room.
Digital Display: A digital display screen clearly shows the level of CO detected in the home, and updates the reading every 15 seconds.
Peak-Level Memory: This feature records the highest level of CO present. Knowing the CO level in the home can help emergency personnel determine treatment.
Plug-in with Battery Backup: Easy to plug into any electrical socket, these alarms include a 9V battery for protection during short-term power outages.
Voice Warning: This feature clearly announces the threat present in the home, in addition to emitting the traditional alarm beep. It is often a feature of combination smoke/CO alarms.

Placement and Maintenance

So you’ve selected the right solutions for your home. Now comes the important part: knowing where to place them and how to properly maintain them.

Install at least one CO alarm on every floor and in sleeping areas.
Make sure CO alarms are at least 15 feet away from cooking or heating appliances to prevent false alarms.
Don’t cover or obstruct the unit. Test the CO alarm monthly.
Replace CO alarms every 7 to 10 years (depending on your model) to benefit from the latest technology upgrades.

 

Adapted from Kidde.com Visit www.Kidde.com for more great tips and a full line of fire protection products.

Power Failure Plan

Having a power failure plan to protect your home from a blackout has become a necessity today.  According to one study, 75 percent of U.S. homeowners experienced a power outage each year.Preventing power failures

So how do you protect yourself from these power failure problems? By setting up backup power systems to protect mission-critical appliances from damage or destruction. Here’s where to begin:

Standby Generators. Generators can run on natural gas or gasoline, and some can re-power most of the home’s critical systems within a short time of a power failure.

Surge Suppression.  Surges can occur from outside or inside the home. To protect yourself, you’ll need several types of devices:

  • Lightning Rods – Good to protect against blasts of lightning hitting at or near your home. Lightning rods provide a “ground” path to divert this runaway power from harming your home’s electrical systems.
  • Surge Arrestors – Surge arrestors are mounted inside your electrical panel and provide another protection against voltage spikes, which occur from the outside.
  • Surge Suppressors – Surge suppressors provide the second stage of an interior defense system. Most suppressors resemble power strips with outlets, and protect equipment that’s particularly sensitive to moderate surges such as computers, TVs, phones, and audio/video systems.

When shopping for surge suppressors, keep in mind that major qualitative differences exist. Generally speaking, you get what you pay for and finding out your suppressor didn’t work during a power failure can be a very expensive lesson to learn.

Battery Back-ups.  Probably the single most effective equipment to protect computers from damage from a power outage is a battery back up. Known as an “uninterruptible power supply” or “UPS”, these small devices will not only protect your sensitive data from surges or spikes, they can also instantly restore power to your computer long enough to allow you to safely save your work and shut down the system.  Battery backups are an essential part of your power failure plan.

Check out these sites for good tools and tips on protecting your power during a power failure:

  • Electric Generators Direct.com– Use the home wattage wizard to find out how much power you’ll need in the event of a blackout.
  • Generac –  View a movie that explains step-by-step how stand-by generators protect your home from power failures.
  • National Lightning Safety Institute – Get the facts on lightening and learn how to avoid becoming a victim.
  • Energy Guide.com – Enter a few details on your home and learn what energy saving improvements makes the most sense.

Protecting your home from power failures with a thorough power failure plan has become a necessity, due to today’s many power outages. But with a little preplanning, the inconvenience of losing electricity can be left at just that.