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  • James Shabatowski

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide

Most people don’t think about their fire and carbon monoxide detection in their homes. Many of us look at those ugly pucks on the ceiling and think, ‘yeah, I’m protected.” But do you know what your existing system actually does for you? or if it even works?!

Newer homes, by code, have smoke and carbon monoxide detection on each floor. Further more, homes built within the past decade, will also have smoke detectors in each bedroom and strobe lights attached to each device. All of which may have a battery back-up and method of detector interconnection. Fire detection has made great strides over the years in ensuring your home’s safety.


But in older homes, too many put faith in that single yellow puck in the upstairs hallway. Did you know that your smoke detector has a limited service life? Old smoke detectors had a service life of up to 7 years. This is indicated on the unit itself and/or in the literature of the detector. Modern smoke and carbon detectors can now have a service life of up to 12 years.

Maintaining your fire and carbon detection is critical for everyone in your home. In older homes, it is also important to upgrade your installation to ensure you are protected on each floor. This can be as simple as installing battery or plug-in detection systems on each floor.

Maintenance should be performed at least annually. This can be done by yourself, a friend, family member, or you can call us! With over a decade of residential experience we can maintain, verify, and expand your fire and carbon system to ensure your home is protected. You can call us anytime for an appointment or you can set up a worry free service plan with us.


Here are five considerations when maintaining your current system:

1. Are my detectors still good? Check the expiry date on your detector, or failing that, the date of manufacture and add 7 years. If that date has long gone, its time to replace that unit.


2. Are the batteries dead? Batteries should be changed at least once a year regardless of their condition and when your detector makes that annoying “beep!” every 30 seconds or so. Not all detectors have batteries, be it as their main power source or as a back-up, but if they are there they need to work.


3. Clean your detectors. Like everything in your house, your detectors need cleaning too. Dust, cobwebs, and dead insects all find their way in there and can hinder your detector’s performance or even cause false alarms. Using a can of compressed air at three or four different spots will clear all that out and ensure your detectors operate efficiently and accurately.


4. Is my house adequately protected? Does each floor of your home have a smoke detector? Is there a detector outside each bedroom? If your home has an attached garage and/or burns ANY form of fuel (wood, gas, oil, propane, etc.) then do you have a carbon monoxide detector outside your bedrooms and one on each floor? Are my detectors placed so people in your home can hear them, especially when they are asleep? Are my detectors placed to maximize their chances of detection? If you answered “no” to any of these or an unsure, than consult your detector’s literature, consult your municipality, or call an expert!


5. Is my system prone to nuisance alarms?

Most common with the whimsical placement of battery detectors, poor placement can lead to the headaches of false alarms. Reviewing the literature provided with your alarms or consulting an expert are your two best options for deciding the best placement for your detectors.


Take the time and care to ensure your home is properly protected. Whenever you are unsure, consult an expert. At Stellar Jay, we offer free project estimates and will be more than happy to work with you to design an effective system with the features you want.


We also provide completely customizable maintenance packages that include:

- Cleaning

- Battery Replacement

- Testing

- Troubleshooting and Protection Review

- Device Supply/Install/Replacement

- Variety of Payment Options

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613-286-8701

Bowhill Ave, Nepean, Ontario
K2E 6S7

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