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9-Volt vs. 10-year Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

awakened-by-smoke-alarm-beep-wilcox-electric-dcWe've all been there. It's two in the morning. You've been asleep for a few hours and don't expect to wake until six. Then it happens, so fast you wonder if you imagined it. Beep. You roll over thinking it's nothing and beep. Beep, Beep. Beep. The smoke alarm is chirping like a demented bird hanging out right above the doorway. The battery is dead. And, unless you're wiser than most of us, you need to head to the closest convenience store and buy a 9-Volt battery.

For years, a 9-Volt was the only power option for any smoke detector. We learned to change the battery when we changed the clock twice a year. Everything was fine besides the balancing act on the ladder and failing to keep a spare battery on hand. 

Next, smoke detectors were hardwired into homes, with a battery backup. These were an improvement because the batteries were rarely used. Even so, the ladder came out twice a year, and we changed that little battery. 

Carbon monoxide detectors were the next step in the home protection business. These also had a 9-Volt battery that needed changing every six months. 

Another step was the switch from a 9-Volt battery to two or three AA batteries. The best part of this improvement was AA batteries provide as much as 2-3 times the amount of power as a 9-Volt.

Now the whole process of keeping your house safe from fire or deadly gas leaks has been simplified. You can get a combination unit with a sealed-in battery that lasts for ten years, with zero maintenance. Imagine how safe you'll feel knowing your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are problem-free for ten years. 

Do I Need to Monitor for Smoke and Gas 24/7?

The short answer? Yes. You really need to monitor for smoke and carbon monoxide all the time. An increase in carbon monoxide inside your home could become fatal. House fires decrease the oxygen in a room, so the carbon monoxide increases. Any of your fuel-burning appliances can develop CO problems. The gas has no smell, no taste, and nothing to alert you to its presence.

Even with the legal requirements to have safety alarms like battery operated smoke detectors and CO detectors in every dwelling type, people still fail to install and maintain them. 

The truth is that as far as we have come in understanding safety, three out of five people who die from home fires die in a house with no working smoke alarms. In other words, maintaining your smoke alarm decreases your chance of death by fire in that building by 60%. 

If an alarm can increase your survival chances by 60%, it is worth maintaining. Wilcox Electric can help you decide if a 9-Volt, AAs, or a ten-year smoke and carbon monoxide detector is best for your home. 

Are 9-volt, AA, and 10-year Combo Detectors Different Alarms?

The short answer is no. Any one of these will set off a terrifying screech when it detects too much smoke or CO in the air. The important thing is knowing that the beep could save lives. If the every-six-month-battery- check is not working well for you, the switch to a 10-year unit could make a lot of sense.  Get in touch with Wilcox Electric, today, and start sleeping soundly again soon.