Home Smoke & CO Detectors

This weekend we turn our clocks back 1 hour in most of North America as we switch from Daylight Savings to Standard Time.

As part of this semi-annual routine we are reminded ever where that this is when we should check the air filters in our furnaces and we should especially check the batteries in our battery operated smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, check your fire extinguisher, and so on. If our smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are hard wired, we should test them using their test buttons to ensure they are working.

Local and / or regional fire  and building codes in most areas of North America require at least one smoke and CO detector on each floor homes as well as the basement. Some codes require more than one per floor of homes.

What if you do not have one on each floor? What if you want more?

Well, why not take this weekend’s reminder about checking smoke and CO detectors to go out, purchase and install some in your home?????

I mentioned several days ago that I received a free combination Smoke and CO battery operated detector from First Alert at the same time that I received two of its Tundra Fire Extinguishing Spray containers.

First Alert Smoke and CO Detector1 Home Smoke & CO Detectors

I wanted for a while to place one of these inside the basement bedroom which our youngest daughter uses when she is not away at college.

Installing these is pretty easy. While the last part of the installation, I’ll start by showing you where the batteries go inside this smoke and carbon monoxide detector in the picture below:

First Alert Batteries Home Smoke & CO Detectors

Now, the package contains a very detailed set of instructions on where to install, where not to install, and how to install.

Per the instructions you want to avoid installing these electronic devices in ‘dead air spaces’  where smoke would be the last area to reach. So, per the instructions you want to install these either in the center of a room’s ceiling or if on a wall (which is what I did) where the top edge is between 4 and 12 inches from the ceiling.

As well, these should not be installed in direct sunlight, less than 12 inches from fluorescent lights, in areas of extreme humidity like bathrooms or laundry rooms or near a dishwasher.

For this smoke and CO detector, I wanted it placed, as mentioned, in that basement bedroom near the door.

First Alert Smoke CO Dector and Base Home Smoke & CO Detectors

So, after removing the combination smoke and CO detector from its base (by simply turning the base counter clockwise), I measured and drilled two holes in the wall near the door of the basement bedroom using the unit’s base as my template.

Now, I’ve mentioned before how a pet peeve of mine is when towel racks are installed with both ends in drywall, i.e. without one end directly anchored into a vertical wall stud.

Same thing with anything pretty much that will be hung on a wall; yes, even a smoke detector.

So, notice in the picture below how the hole drilled closest to the door frame is shown by my stud finder to have been drilled into a vertical stud to provide sufficient strength if for some reason you have need to twist the smoke/CO detection unit off of its base in the future…..such as if it failed your twice a year test.

Stud Finder Confirming Hole in Drywall Is Also in a Stud Home Smoke & CO Detectors

And, yes, before I drilled the holes I used that same stud finder to ensure one of the holes I was about to drill would be into a stud. icon smile Home Smoke & CO Detectors

Next was to insert the provided red drywall anchor into the hole on the left.

Red Drywll Anchor by Door Frame Home Smoke & CO Detectors

Once done, I simply inserted a screw into each of the drywall anchor and into the other hole on the right (and thus into the wooden stud in behind). Then I placed the smoke/CO detector’s base onto the exposed metal screws and finished inserting them into the wall to hold the base secure.

Smoke Detector Base Anchored On Wall Home Smoke & CO Detectors

This was finished by placing the First Alert smoke/CO detector onto the base and turning clockwise.

First Alert Smoke CO Detector Installed Home Smoke & CO Detectors

Above you can see the placement of our newly installed combination smoke and carbon monoxide detector in the basement bedroom. Notice that the top of the unit is about 7 inches from the ceiling which is between the 4 and 12 inches guideline in the package’s installation instructions.

So, this weekend change your furnace’s air filter if it needs it, test/replace the batteries in your battery operated smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and test your hard wired detectors. Also consider if you could use another couple of these safety devices in your home and if so, don’t put it off until later. Do it now.

You can find here more tips on how to make your house safe and secured for your loved ones.


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