What Are All Those Alarms in My Home For?

Everybody knows what a smoke alarm is. It’s that thing that annoyingly goes off when you leave some bit of food on the stove, and then go to cook something else. Of course, it’s also there to save your life in case an actual fire should break out.

But today, homes have many more alarms than just smoke alarms. What are they all for? What do they save us from? Following are the  most common alarms homes should have in the 21st century.

Carbon Monoxide  The sinister thing about carbon monoxide is that it is colorless and odorless. Statistically, not a ton of people die from this. But the only way to know if carbon monoxide is present in your home is to have an alarm. Carbon monoxide can come from a number of things, such as a faulty heating system, a generator, or a vehicle left running in the garage. Even when it’s not fatal, carbon monoxide poisoning is extremely unpleasant. That’s why, in both Wisconsin and Minnesota, carbon monoxide detectors are required in every residence.

Radon  While not as immediately fatal as carbon monoxide, radon is second only to smoking as a cause of lung cancer. It is also colorless and odorless, so a detector is required to know if there is an unhealthy amount of radon in your home. While neither Wisconsin nor Minnesota require radon detectors to be installed, both states have a high number of homes with radon in them. Homes are usually tested, and the results disclosed, upon selling a home. A single test is very inexpensive, and though a radon detector costs a bit more than a smoke or carbon monoxide detector, the benefits are certainly worth the purchase.

Natural Gas  Most homes are heated by natural gas, and use it for clothes dryers, water heaters, and ovens. An odorant is added to natural gas used in homes, so you can detect a leak if there is a strange smell of rotten eggs in your house. However, gas leaks are so dangerous, sometimes leading to huge explosions, that having a detector in your home is more trustworthy than your nose. Many devices available include natural gas, propane, and carbon monoxide detectors all in one. Owning one of these can be a cost effective way to protect your family from many possible dangers.

If you’re unsure which of these detectors you already have, or which you should purchase, contact your Baldwin Woodville insurance agent from Wisconsin or Minnesota to make sure your family is safe and secure.