Smoke & CO Detector Safety

Richey-Barrett Blog (18)

Anyone who owns a rental or investment property knows the importance of making sure their assets are well protected from dangers of damage. Maintaining a smoke alarm is more than just changing the battery and testing the alarm with a stick or by pressing the ‘battery test’ button. You need to know that it will actually work in a fire. It’s simply not worth the risk of ignoring fire safety.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless and tasteless gas that can cause sudden illness and death. Carbon monoxide is commonly known as “the silent killer.” State legislatures have begun adopting laws mandating the use of carbon monoxide detectors. As of September 2015, CO detectors are required in homes by 25 states; with another 11 states requiring CO detectors in private dwellings via each state’s billing code.

Below are tips for ensuring everyone’s safety for both smoke and CO detectors.

The following points are critical in ensuring your tenant is safe from a fire in your investment property.

  • Ensuring the correct quantity and quality of smoke alarms are installed.
  • Ensuring correct positioning of smoke alarms and re positioning.
  • Battery testing
  • Ensuring ventilation holes are clear of obstructions such as insects and their debris.
  • Checking the expiry date of every alarm.
  • Full function test on every alarm including testing the alarm with artificial smoke.
  • Certificate of compliance for the property.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures “Carbon monoxide poisoning is a serious public health concern. Over 10,000 are poisoned by carbon monoxide needing medical treatment each year; over 500 people in the U.S. die annually from carbon monoxide poisoning.”

Sources of Carbon Monoxide CO is a by-product of incomplete combustion. Any fuel-burning device may produce dangerous levels of CO gas.

  • Fuel-fired furnaces (non-electric)
  • Gas water heaters
  • Generators
  • Fireplaces and wood stoves
  • Gas stoves
  • Non-electric space heaters (propane, kerosene)
  • Gas dryers
  • Charcoal grills
  • Lawnmowers, snow blowers, automobiles, Etc.

Recently, a company called, Nest has created a new kind of smoke and carbon monoxide detector. It has an industrial-grade smoke sensor, tests itself automatically, and lasts up to a decade. It’s also the first home alarm you can hush from your phone without any extra hardware required.

Features of a Nest detector

  • Nightly Promise: Nest Protect constantly monitors its sensors and batteries. A quick green glow when you turn out the lights says everything’s working.
  • Pathlight: When you walk under Nest Protect at night, it will light your way. You can choose different light levels or turn Pathlight off entirely in the app.
  • Heads-Up: If there’s only a little smoke, like you’ve just burned toast, it will glow yellow and give you a friendly Heads-Up so you can check on things.
  • Emergency: When smoke or carbon monoxide reaches dangerous levels, Nest Protect sounds the alarm, pulses red, and tells you where the emergency is.

Do you have a carbon monoxide or smoke detector addendum for your lease agreement? Are your tenants effectively complying with any given instructions?

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