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Smoke Detector & Carbon Monoxide Alarm Installation

Many homeowners believe that their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms last forever. Well, the answer is THEY DO NOT….

All smoke alarms need to be replaced every 10 years. And, depending upon manufacturers, carbon monoxide (CO) alarms need to be replaced every 5-7 years. Even though an alarm may sound when you push the test button or replace the batteries, an out dated alarm does not provide the level of protection you need. Sensors weaken and can become obstructed over time. Check the age of every alarm in your home. If smoke alarms are over 10 years old, or carbon monoxide alarms are over 5-7 years old – they should be replaced immediately!


smoke detector installation

Smoke alarms, when properly, installed, give an early audible warning needed for safe escape from fire. This is critical, given the majority of all fire deaths occur in the home, and most of these occur at night during sleeping hours.

Smoke alarms should be tested monthly by pushing the test button. Once a year, use a smoldering cotton string, candle or incense until the smoke makes the alarm sound (test from the side of the alarm not directly under – sensors are on the side). If the alarm is battery-powered and doesn’t sound, replace it with a new battery and try again. If it’s electrically connected to household circuits and doesn’t sound, check the fuse and try again. In either case, if the alarm still isn’t working, replace the entire unit.


carbon monoxide alarm installation

Known as the silent killer, Carbon Monoxide (CO) is an odourless, colorless gas produced by incomplete burning of fuel, such as propane, kerosene, gasoline, oil, natural gas, wood and charcoal. Sources of CO in homes can include malfunctioning gas-fired appliances, space heaters and chimney flues. Each year, more than 450 people die and about 10,000 seek medical attention for accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. Symptoms of CO poisoning include nausea, fatigue, headaches, dizziness, breathing difficulty and confusion – but they are general enough to be confused with the flu. A CO alarm is designed to sound before symptoms would occur in an average adult. Exposure to carbon monoxide can be deadly. You can’t see it, smell it or taste it. The National Fire Protection Association recommends that, for the best protection, homeowners install one carbon monoxide alarm on every storey in your home.

In addition to installing at least one cUL or ULC listed CO alarm, in your home, these measures may help to prevent CO poisoning:

  • Have a qualified technician inspect your fuel-burning appliances and chimneys.
  • Install a cUL or ULC listed CO alarm according to manufacturer’s instructions and at least 10 feet away from fuel-burning appliances and outside of sleeping areas.
  • Never ignore a CO alarm. If your CO alarm sounds, immediately operate the reset/silence button and call your fire department or 9-1-1.
  • Move to fresh air, either outside or to an open window or door. Account for every household member.
  • Don’t re-enter your home or move away from the open door or window until the emergency services have arrived, the home is sufficiently aired out and the CO alarm doesn’t reactivate.
  • If your CO alarm reactivates within a 24 hour period, repeat the steps above and call a qualified technician to examine your appliances and make any appropriate repairs.

CO alarms wear out. Be sure to replace them every 5-7 years to upgrade to more advanced CO-sensing technologies and new innovative safety features. Remember too that some CO alarms have batteries in case of power failure in your home – install fresh batteries at least once per year (or when you do your smoke alarms). Consider an alarm with a digital display screen that will show you the CO level in your home. This makes it easier to spot changes in your home’s air quality that could indicate a potential problem.

Don’t cut corners when it comes to fire and CO protection for your family. Maximize your peace of mind by installing the correct number of approved alarms and detectors in your home.

Call Hi-Lite Electric today for replacement of your old smoke alarms, or for installation of new combination “Smoke/CO Alarms”.

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What to Do When the Carbon Monoxide Alarm Sounds:

If your carbon monoxide alarm goes off, the first step is to silence it. Next, swiftly move everyone to fresh air, preferably outdoors or near an open door or window. Ensure all individuals are safe and accounted for. Immediately dial emergency services, your local fire department, or 911 and inform them that your carbon monoxide alarm has activated. Refrain from re-entering the building or moving away from the open door or window until emergency responders arrive, the area is properly ventilated, and your carbon monoxide alarm returns to its normal state. Safety is paramount when dealing with carbon monoxide alarms.

Can Carbon Monoxide Alarms Detect Explosive Gas Leaks?

No, standard carbon monoxide alarms are designed solely for detecting carbon monoxide and won't respond to explosive gases. To identify the presence of explosive gases, you'll require a dedicated explosive gas detector. These detectors are designed to sense various types of explosive gases, such as natural gas or propane. It's advisable for homes using these gases to have at least one explosive gas leak detector for added safety. Carbon monoxide alarms and explosive gas detectors serve different purposes and should be used accordingly to protect against their respective dangers.

Where Shouldn't You Install Carbon Monoxide Alarms?

Avoid installing carbon monoxide alarms in specific locations. Don't place them in garages, kitchens, or areas prone to dust, dirt, humidity, or grease. Also, steer clear of spots exposed to direct sunlight or extreme temperatures, like unconditioned crawl spaces, unfinished attics, poorly insulated ceilings, and porches. Ensure alarms aren't obstructed by curtains or other objects. Never install them near turbulent air sources such as ceiling fans, heat vents, air conditioners, fresh air returns, or open windows, as moving air could hinder carbon monoxide from reaching the sensors. Proper placement is essential for the effectiveness of carbon monoxide alarms.

How Many Smoke Detectors Do You Need?

The quantity of smoke detectors required hinges on your home's size.

When to Test Smoke Detectors?

To ensure your safety, it's essential to test your smoke detectors monthly. Simply press the test button on the alarm. For precise guidance, refer to the manufacturer's instructions that accompany your specific detector. Consistent testing helps verify that your smoke alarms are in proper working order, ready to alert you in case of a fire.

Where should I Install Smoke Detectors?

Install smoke alarms in key locations for safety. Place one in every bedroom, just outside each sleeping area, and on every level of your home, including the basement and attic. To prevent false alarms, keep smoke detectors at least 20 feet away from appliances like furnaces and stovetops, and maintain a minimum 10-foot distance from humid areas such as bathrooms and laundry rooms. It's vital to note that a significant number of home fire fatalities occur during sleep, making it crucial to have working smoke alarms in and around sleeping spaces for early detection and warning.

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Unknown Unknown
Angie was great on the phone explained everything in detail and pleasant to speak with. Steven and Sal came by within a day, fixed everything up quickly, and the price was fair. They were extremely polite and easy to work with. I will 100% be recommending to everyone I know in the area who needs an electricians help. What an absolute blessing it was to find Hi-Lite. Thank you again! -Vinny
Krystina Samaroo
Krystina Samaroo
Great service!
Chelsey Bennett
Chelsey Bennett
My partner has been using this company for years and now that we share a place, I’ve seen them at work on a few projects. They really stand out as professional, careful, and thorough. I’d recco them 100% to anyone in need of a reliable electrician!!
David Alleyne
David Alleyne
Highly recommended. These guys are great. Professional. Friendly. Flexible.
Matthew and Steven were pleasant to deal with and we were pleased they disposed of the old lighting and fixture and didn't leave it for us.
john farres
john farres
Great job with the EV charger installation. Steven took great care in making sure the job was done right!
MariaLuisa Schirripa
MariaLuisa Schirripa
My husband and I would recommend this company for any of your electrical needs! They are VERY professional, fast and understanding. Luciano is awesome to speak to and his son Steven is also great. They came quickly and made us feel like a priority. Our problem got fixed and they were all extremely nice to deal with. We will definitely use them again when we need an electrical issue fixed!
Mohammad Albaroudi
Mohammad Albaroudi
Great and professional service, highly recommended..
Anvar Zargarov
Anvar Zargarov
We contacted Hi-Lite Electric Inc because of potentially life-threatening electrical issues we are having in our apartment that have been neglected and ignored by the property management. Luciano offered helpful advice as to how to approach the situation and find a solution; as well as providing the right contact information. He seemed like a genuine, empathic person with solid morals and was glad to help out without charging us anything due to genuine personal concern. I am very grateful people like him are still around. Thank you.

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