Devices to Deal with Home Dangers

As Ben Franklin once noted, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Use these basic detection-device tips to help keep you and your family safe and sound.

Smoke alarms

  • Install one in and outside each bedroom, with at least one on every level of the home.
  • Test once a month, and replace after ten years.
  • Consider interconnected smoke alarms—when one goes off, all of them do.

Carbon monoxide alarms

  • Install one outside each bedroom, making sure that one is on every level of the home.
  • Install a few feet from the ceiling, and keep them away from heat and humidity sources.
  • Test at least once a month.
  • Consider interconnected alarms and combination smoke/carbon monoxide alarms.

Radon detectors

  • Test for radon—a dangerous, colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas—twice a year.
  • Use short-term kits (which test from 2 to 90 days) for quick results and long-term kits (several months) for greater accuracy.
  • Contact an expert about remediation if you get high readings.