Installing and maintaining smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms can save your life. Luckily, they’re inexpensive and easy to install.
Basic smoke alarms start at $15, with CO alarms costing $35 and up. Newer models offer more features. For example, interconnected smoke alarms communicate between devices and provide integrated, whole-house protection. Whether the alarms are hardwired or wirelessly connected, with such a system when one alarm detects smoke or CO, all of them will sound.
Every Home Needs Them
Smoke alarms are a must in all homes, and CO alarms are needed for any home with fuel-burning appliances such as a furnace, water heater, range, cooktop, or grill. Even those living in all-electric homes should install CO alarms, because CO can seep into the house from an attached garage or if a backup generator is used too close to your living quarters in the event of a power outage.
You’ll need smoke alarms that detect flaming and smoldering fires for each bedroom, with at least one alarm installed on each floor, including a finished attic and the basement. You should also have a CO alarm on each living level, in the basement, and near (not inside) an attached garage.
Before you shop, check regulations in your region. What you need, including types of alarms and their placement, can vary. Also, some insurance companies offer a 5 percent discount for homes with smoke alarms.