The statistics revolving around smoke and carbon monoxide detectors — their misuse, neglect, or their absence entirely — are harrowing. In New York City right now, there's such a push to stop the deaths that occur when they're not used or used improperly that there are PSAs running during primetime television produced by the fire department and city. While they're not complicated, are you using your smoke and carbon monoxide detector wrong? If it's not in the proper location or if there are not enough of them., you could be.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless gas that is distinctly insidious because it lulls you to sleep and relaxes you before it eventually suffocates you, noted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That's why there's been a real push to get families to use them, leading to the popularity of the combined CO/smoke detector. However, they have to be placed properly, maintained regularly, and you have to choose the right model for your home.
According to statistics, 37 percent of deaths in house fires happen in homes where there was no detector or it wasn't properly maintained, noted MySmokeAlarm.org. Also, there are an average of 430 deaths per year due to CO poisoning. That's entirely too many preventable deaths. Therefore, here are five ways you're using your CO/smoke detector incorrectly, and how to fix it.