A smoke detector is a device that is mounted on a wall or ceiling that will automatically sound when it senses smoke or products of combustion in the air. Smoke detectors give an early warning to occupants so they can make a quick escape in the event of fire.

The Big Bear Fire Department encourages everyone to check his or her smoke detectors regularly. Smoke detectors have a tendency to get dusty or collect cobwebs that could cause a malfunction of your smoke detector. The batteries should be replaced every six months. The best way to remind yourself when to change the batteries is to do it when the time changes in the Spring and Fall. If you hear a chirping sound coming from your smoke detector, it is time to replace the batteries.

The Big Bear Fire Department realizes the importance of smoke detectors. Every year thousands of people die in house fires, and more are seriously injured. If our personnel learn of a resident without a working smoke detector in their home and who cannot afford one, we will install one, or replace a battery, free of charge. We carry smoke detectors on each of our units, just for that purpose. You can also obtain a smoke detector from any hardware store or general merchandise store that has a hardware department. Smoke detectors generally cost between $10 and $20 depending on the style or type. There are also smoke detectors that are hard-wired into a home's electrical system. Check with your local building department for specifics on hard-wired smoke detectors.

The placement of smoke detectors is very important. Sleeping areas within a home are the most important and need the most protection. One should be installed in every sleeping area, one on every floor of a multiple story residence, and one in every common hallway. If the hallway is greater than 30 feet, smoke detectors should be placed at both ends for the most protection. Smoke detectors should also be placed at the top of every stairwell.

Do you know how old your smoke detector is? If you are not sure and it is not in very good shape or is older than 10 years, it should probably be replaced.

Smoke detectors save lives, are you safe?

For further information, check out this website: http://www.safetyresource.org/firesafety.html

A carbon monoxide detector or CO detector is a device that detects the presence of the carbon monoxide (CO) gas in order to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. CO is a colorless, tasteless and odorless compound produced by incomplete combustion of carbon containing materials. It is often referred to as the "silent killer" because it is virtually undetectable without using detection technology and most do not realize they are being poisoned. Elevated levels of CO can be dangerous to humans depending on the amount present and length of exposure. Smaller concentrations can be harmful over longer periods of time while increasing concentrations require diminishing exposure times to be harmful.

CO detectors are designed to measure CO levels over time and sound an alarm before dangerous levels of CO accumulate in an environment, giving people adequate warning to safely ventilate the area or evacuate. Some system-connected detectors also alert a monitoring service that can dispatch emergency services if necessary.

While CO detectors do not serve as smoke detectors and vice versa, dual smoke/CO detectors are also sold. CO detectors detect and warn people about dangerous CO build-up caused, for example, by a malfunctioning fuel-burning device. In the home, some common sources of CO include open flames, space heaters, water heaters, blocked chimneys or running a car inside a garage.