What is Carbon Monoxide and what do I need?
Optimal Protection is one Carbon Monoxide detector per floor, preferably integrated into your hardwired system. Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas. In a residential home it is primarily produced by fuel burning appliances(furnace, water heater, fireplace, etc). If you have improper ventilation on those products initial symptoms of CO poisoning may include headache, fatigue, dizziness, drowsiness, or nausea. During prolonged or high exposures, symptoms may worsen and include vomiting, confusion, and collapse in addition to loss of consciousness and death. The American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) reportes an average of 15,000 cases of carbon monoxide poisoning annually, resulting in an average of 500 deaths per year.
Do I need a Photoelectric or Ionization Detector?
Photoelectric smoke detectors are MUCH more sensitive than ionization smoke detectors at sensing smoldering fires (10-15 MINUTES), which may smolder for hours before bursting into flame. The Majority of fire deaths in the USA are from smoldering fires. Sources of these fires may include cigarettes burning, space heaters, or any heat source that is not great enough to produce a flame.
Ionization smoke detectors are more sensitive than photoelectric smoke detectors at sensing hot, flaming fires (roughly 15-30 seconds faster), that are consuming combustible materials rapidly and may spread quickly. Sources of these fires mostly include the use of accelerants such as gasoline or a grease fire.
Ionization alarms are the current code for most states but Photoelectric is now becoming the new code in many North Eastern states and moving across the country . For the best protection try to use both where ever possible.