Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors probably won’t counteract fires but the correct alert can spare life from both quick flaring flames and seething smoke. There are innumerable alternatives and highlights to help ensure your home.

This top recommendations, tips, and guide will give you peace of mind about fire safety and smoke detectors.

Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detector Buying Guide

Installing and maintaining smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors can save your life. Luckily, they’re inexpensive and easy to install. Basic smoke detectors start at $10, while carbon monoxide detectors start at just $20.

How We Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Each smoke and carbon monoxide detector that enters Consumer Reports’ labs is rigorously tested to make sure these devices keep you and your family safe. For smoke detectors, we test their response time to both flaming fires and smoldering, smokey fires. We’ve found that not all detectors can adequately detect both fire types.
For carbon monoxide detectors, we test them against low CO levels (at 100 parts per million) and high CO levels (at 400 ppm). We also test the accuracy of their carbon monoxide measurements if they offer readings through a digital display or audio announcements.


How to Test a Carbon Monoxide Detector at home

When there isn’t enough oxygen to fully combust in CO2 (carbon dioxide), only half as much oxygen adds to the carbon, and instead you form carbon monoxide (CO). This is why it can be dangerous to burn things in a closed area.

In this experiment video, they have tried burning a candle and burning gas on stove, both did not generate enough level of CO to activate the detector as expected. The trick is to use a ziploc-bag to limit the Oxygen supply and gather CO within the bag.

Watch to the end of the video you will see it!

Where to Place Them Throughout Your Home

Smoke detectors are a must in all homes, and carbon monoxide detectors are needed for any home with fuel-burning appliances such as a furnace, water heater, range, cooktop, or grill. Even those living in all-electric homes should install carbon monoxide detectors, because CO can seep into the house from an attached garage or if a backup generator is used too close to your living quarters during a power outage.

Use the illustration below as a guide to where you need detectors and tally up the number of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors you need to buy. Keep in mind that your home might need more or fewer detectors depending on its size and number of rooms.


The advantage of having smoke and carbon monoxide detectors is that they have 24/7 monitoring, which is crucial when it comes to this type of event.

How Do Smoke Detector Work

There are two types of smoke detectors the ionization detectors and optical detector. The ionization detectors use a tiny source of radiation to detect smoke the optical detectors use infrared light to detect smoke.

See the whole image here.