Residents of Chicago apartments have all heard of the Great Chicago Fire and Mrs. O’Leary’s cow. We’ve come a long way since then, but, unfortunately, plenty of people still suffer grave injuries and loss in fires each year. It is crucial for both landlord and tenants to stay on top of fire safety, frequently check smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure the vitality of everyone involved.
Maybe you’ve had a rather overzealous smoke detector that shoots off into wailing beeps every time you cook on the stove. Having a smoke detector that goes off every time you cook is not sufficient evidence that your smoke detector is up-to-par. Nor does it mean you should remove the batteries or cover up the sensor on the smoke detector. On the contrary, an alarm that is continuously going off needs to be checked, and there is a specific way that you should make sure your detector is working.
It is a worthwhile investment to replace cheap alarms with dual (both ionization and photoelectric smoke sensors) alarms that detect all types of fire and place one in every room of the apartment. Having only one smoke detector means a fire will have the chance to build up and spread before the smoke detector goes off.
How Can You Check Your Smoke Detector?
According to the National Fire Protection Association, three out of five fire-related deaths happen in properties without working smoke alarms. When you have a smoke detector, the risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half. Chicago apartments are required to include smoke alarms that are functional, but as a tenant you should be vigilant in checking your home’s hardware and ensuring it works.
Smoke detectors run off either your home electricity or batteries. The battery-operated models either contain a nine-volt disposable battery or irreplaceable 10-year lithium battery. Hardwired models that run off of electricity should have their backup battery replaced annually.
You should make it a habit to check your smoke detectors monthly. To check your fire alarm locate the “test” button on the alarm, and then proceed to press and hold the test button. It is also important to note if your alarm ever starts to make a chirping sound at regular intervals it’s time to replace the battery.
You should consider replacing your battery if:
– The alarm often gives false warnings.
– It is continually set off by kitchen smoke since that wears out the battery more quickly.
– It beeps or flashes without justifiable cause.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Smoke alarms are vital to Chicago apartment tenants, but many don’t realize they also need a carbon monoxide detector. Carbon monoxide is the poisonous gas that is emitted during a fire. These small devices are separate from your smoke detectors but just as vital. They detect the presence of carbon monoxide in the air, which is a scentless chemical and only noticeable through the effect it has on its victims.
Most apartments in Chicago are equipped with dual smoke alarms that also detect carbon monoxide. Carbon Monoxide can build up even if there isn’t a fire, some common ways it builds up are: back drifting from a malfunctioning ventilation system, using a charcoal grill indoors or leaking faulty gas lines. Carbon monoxide is known as the “silent killer” since symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning often go unnoticed until too late.
In closing, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors that either come with your apartment or are purchased additionally are life-saving essentials for your home. Make it a habit to check your smoke detector monthly to ensure it is in working order and you will be alerted to any danger in time.