Archive for the ‘Home Security / Alarms / Cameras / Safes / Sensors / Smoke Detectors’ Category

Image of CO Detector / Alarm sourced from Kidde's Website.

Over the past few weeks we have been exploring how to keep yourself save against the silent, odourless and tasteless killer, which is carbon monoxide or CO as it is often known.  As a result we were asked after our first post on the subject whether we thought it was worthwhile to purchase and install CO detectors?

Yes, if you were not aware, there is a detector, similar to a smoke detector, which will detect CO.  You can also readily get them in Australia, but they are not very popular, in fact, Energy Safe Victoria do not even recommend them.

Energy Safe Victoria indicate that the best defence from CO Poisoning is to follow the safety precautions we shared with you last week and to be aware of the symptoms.  If you are safe around CO then you should be well equipped in the unlikely event (especially if your appliances are serviced regularly) to ever need one.

The thing with a CO alarm is that we expect it would work in the same way as a smoke detector, beeping to let us know that the noxious gas was in the air and that we simply need to change the batteries each year.  That is not the case, there is more chance of false readings than with a smoke alarm and you are less able to tell whether to take them seriously, which could lead to complacency.  Also you will need to replace the whole unit when the sensor wears out, not just the batteries, so they can also prove to be expensive.

So while we would love to have alarms that will keep us safe 24 hours a day, the units are in general not yet reliable enough and viable enough to be recommended at this point.  That said technology is swiftly moving forward and I am sure it is only a matter of time before such a device does receive the Energy Safe Victoria’s recommendation.

If you do choose to have a CO detector installed, Energy Safe recommend checking that it is independently certified to BS EN 50291:2001 or later.  They also recommend you always follow the manufacturers’ siting and operating instructions.

Note: Although we feature an image from a manufacturer’s website, this is no reflection on this particular alarm as DIY Bargain Bin has not done any specific testing in relation to this article and has relied upon the recommendations of Energy Safe Victoria.

For all your alarm and security needs, check out the DIY Bargain Bin Home Security, Alarms, Cameras, Safes, Sensors and Smoke Detectors section.

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Photo courtesy of Joelle Jaffe

So you have taken the first step and purchased some smoke detectors for your house. We applaud you, because according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics: Australian Social Trends 2000 – Housing – Housing Stock: Home Fire Safety, there are 70 deaths a year in house fires.

Fires are most commonly caused by cooking, smoking and electrical faults in wiring or appliances, and 30 percent start in the kitchen, however it is at night when people are asleep that most deaths occur.  It is not the fire that is usually the cause of death, but asphyxiation from the deadly gases caused by the fire.  Even if you are awake, it can be disorientating when you cannot see, your throat is closing over and you have no idea where the fire is.

In order to give yourself a fighting chance, the only option is to have smoke detectors installed, but the question is where to put them in order to give yourself the best warning?

The best place to install them is in all the following locations:

*     An area outside the bedrooms.  Try and position it so all bedrooms are within a metre to a metre and a half from the smoke detector.  If this is not possible then consider putting in a second smoke detector.

*    Near but not in a kitchen.  Because kitchens are quite often where a fire will break out, it is good planning to have a smoke detector near the kitchen, however avoid placing it in the kitchen, especially if you enjoy shallow frying your food, otherwise you may find it going off all the time.

*     On every level of the house.  Ensure that you have a smoke detector on every level of the house.

Remember to change the battery for your smoke detector every six months on the change to daylight savings, and explain to your children where they are and what they do.  Every house should have a fire plan.

For all your smoke detector needs check out the DIY Bargain Bin Home Security / Alarms / Cameras / Safes / Sensors  and Smoke Detectors section.