Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors Checked During A Home Inspection
Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors save lives. They should be checked and maintained regularly. Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas, which is produced by combustion from gas furnaces and water heaters.
When performing home inspections I often see what appear to be very old smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in homes. As a home inspector I recommend to buyers to replace the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in a home to ensure they will work properly when needed. Pressing the alarm button on a smoke detector or carbon monoxide detector only tells you the alarm sound works when the button is pressed. It does not ensure that smoke or carbon monoxide will be detected by the unit.
Always follow manufacturers instructions but the general guidelines are that smoke detectors be replaced every 10 years and carbon monoxide detectors be replaced every 5-7 years.
Batteries should be replaced every 6 months to a year depending on the detector. Many people choose to replace their batteries during daylight savings. Some smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors have lithium long life batteries that last the lifespan of the unit and don’t need replacement, sometimes for as long as 10 years.
Always ensure you keep your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors up to date to prevent not being warned of immediate danger. If you get a high level of carbon monoxide in your home you will not realize it until it's too late.
Dairyland Home Inspection performs home inspections in Racine, Kenosha, Milwaukee, Waukesha, Walworth, and Ozaukee Counties.
Bob Carter is a home inspector in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin. He is the owner of Dairyland Home Inspection.