Three alarms your home shouldn’t be without

Although we never plan on a house fire or burglary to occur, the risk of these hazards is always present. One of the best ways to help prevent unexpected disasters from harming your home and your family is to install detectors that will alert you at the first sign of danger. Below, we have listed three life-saving alarms every home should have.

Smoke detectors
Smoke detectors are one of your best defenses against house fires. The U.S. Fire Administration states that you should install smoke detectors on every floor of your home. Furthermore, smoke detectors should be in multiple areas: inside and outside of bedrooms, in laundry rooms, near furnaces and other areas where fires could start.

It’s absolutely vital that you inspect your smoke detectors every month. Smoke detectors typically have a test button that will sound the alarm when pressed. If the alarm does not sound during the test, you should replace the detector’s battery. Most modern smoke detectors will chirp when the batteries are running low, reminding you to replace them.

It’s also important to discuss an escape plan with your family. Choose a location outside of your home for your family to meet in the event of a fire and make sure that each member of your family has a way to escape your home from every room.

Carbon Monoxide detectors
Carbon monoxide (or CO) is an odorless and invisible gas usually emitted from gas stoves, furnaces, water heaters and cars. This gas is poisonous and can be lethal at certain levels.

CO detectors are essential in preventing carbon monoxide poisoning in your home. In the event that your CO detector sounds its alarm, have your family evacuate the house and check for symptoms of CO poisoning, such as dizziness, chest pains, nausea and headaches.

If you or your family members exhibit any of these signs, dial 911. If you don’t exhibit any of these signs, turn off your appliances, open your windows to ventilate your home and call a professional to determine the levels of CO in your home.

Home security systems
As well as protecting your family from hazards inside your home, you should also consider the dangers potentially lurking outside – namely, burglars.

A home burglary can occur at any time of day. Among other measures, you can reduce the chance that your home will be burglarized by installing a home security system. Studies have shown that homes without a security system are three times as likely to be burglarized than a home with a security system in place.

Home security systems vary in their designs. Some may be motion based while others rely on door/window sensors or security cameras. It’s important to determine which security system will best suit your house. For example, if you have a pet that roams around your house at night, a motion detection security system may not be the best choice for your home.

If you arrive home and your house appears to have been burglarized, leave the premises immediately and dial 911 on a cell phone or a neighbor’s phone. Do not attempt to investigate your home, as the intruder could still be inside. You also do not want to tamper with the crime scene before police officers arrive.

These are just a few helpful tips for keeping you, your family and your home safe. For more safety tips concerning fires, carbon monoxide and other hazards, visit the websites for the U.S. Fire Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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