Every year, fires are responsible for approximately 34,000 injuries and deaths. This astoundingly high number could easily be slashed in half if more homeowners took the time to purchase and maintain smoke alarms and CO detectors. With prices starting around $15, you can’t afford not to have these life-saving additions in your home. Understanding Smoke & CO Detectors Most American homeowners are, at least, somewhat familiar with smoke detectors, how to test them, and the function they serve. However, a majority of the population lacks knowledge of CO detectors, a device that’s just as important as smoke detectors. CO, also known as the “silent killer” is colorless, odorless, and fatal. Much like a smoke detector, a CO detector alerts you when this toxic chemical is present. Purchasing Smoke Alarms & CO Detectors We’re keeping our fingers crossed that you’ve already equipped your home with smoke and CO detectors; if you haven’t, it’s time to do some shopping. Keep this guide handy as you shop for smoke and CO detectors – it could save your life. Firstly, you’ll want to determine how many smoke detectors your home needs. Fire safety experts recommend a smoke detector on every floor of your home, including attics and basements. It’s also not a bad idea to install smoke detectors in every room with a fuel burning appliance (furnace, water heater, etc.). In addition to all of these areas, placing a smoke detector outside of each bedroom is ideal. Once you’ve got a count of how many detectors you’ll need, it’s time to hit the stores! Smoke and CO detectors can be purchased at hardware and home improvement stores, so you won’t have to go far. As you’re shopping, look closely at the package your smoke alarm is enclosed in. If the package does not state that the contents meet the Underwriters Laboratories Standard 217, then opt for one that does. Additionally, CO detectors should meet the IL Standard 2034. Insider Tip: Check the manufactured date on the alarm (typically, located on the back), as you can imagine, newer is always better! Bringing Safety Home So, you’ve purchased your smoke alarms and CO detectors; now what? It’s time to mount them! Here are a few tips to simplify this already simple process: Mount smoke alarms on the ceiling, or as high up on the wall as possible. Mount CO detectors in areas away from windows, as fresh air and outside elements may interfere with the sensor. Show your spouse, roommates, children, or anyone else in your home how to operate the detectors. It Pays to be Safe! Now that you’ve purchased your smoke alarms and CO detectors, let your home insurance agent know; some companies offer discounts for adding these devices!