Changing Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Batteries Could Save Your Life!

Change Batteries In Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors NJ

Change smoke and carbon monoxide batteries | Aurora Home Inspection Bergen County NJ


Fall is the perfect time of year to consider the level of fire and carbon monoxide threat in your home. At Aurora Home Inspections, we urge you, when the clocks fall back this year and daylight savings time ends, to change the batteries in all the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in your home. Changing smoke and carbon monoxide batteries at least once per year could save your life!

Your life can only be saved by an alarm that is working. Good batteries are essential to the effectiveness of both a smoke and CO alarm. It is also imperative to have a working alarm on every level of the home. Having an alarm on every level can buy you the precious time needed to escape disaster.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), approximately three out of five fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or homes without working smoke alarms.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, “home fires often result in lost lives, lasting injuries and property damage. CPSC estimates that between 2009 and 2011, an average of 362,300 unintentional residential fires attended by the fire service, resulted in 2,260 deaths, 12,820 injuries and nearly $7 billion in property damage each year.”

Some alarms will come with a sealed, 10 year guaranteed battery. However, if your alarm does not come that way, you must change the batteries at least once per year. It is also advisable to test each alarm on a monthly basis and place one in every bedroom on every level of the home to maximize safety.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission “carbon monoxide alarms are also critically important safety equipment in the home. Each year from 2008 to 2010, there were an average 162 reported carbon monoxide deaths involving consumer products under CPSC’s jurisdiction, including portable generators and home heating systems.”

Carbon Monoxide | The Invisible Killer

The importance of carbon monoxide detectors in the home cannot be stressed enough. You cannot see or smell carbon monoxide. Known as the invisible killer, the poisonous gas quickly incapacitates and kills its victims quickly from a variety of sources.

Safely Ventilating Fireplaces

Safely Ventilating Fireplaces

Safely Ventilating Fireplaces

Of course you want your fireplace running at its highest efficiency to save money. But more importantly, the main reason to be sure you are safely ventilating fireplaces is to protect your home and family.

When a fireplace fire is burning, it releases bi-products into your chimney and into the air. Having proper ventilation ensures that these by products do not build up and cause harm to your chimney, fire box and of course the air in your home. Whether you have a wood burning fireplace, insert or wood burning stove, proper ventilation will rely on the efficiency and condition of your chimney. Here are some tips on how to make sure your chimney is doing its job which of course is safely ventilating fireplaces.

When installing a chimney…

  • Match the size of the chimney to the size of the fireplace. Improperly matched sizes will result in poor draft and buildup of creosote.
  • Keep the ventilation as straight and vertical as possible. Use elbows, tees or offsets only when absolutely necessary.
  • Avoid installing an exterior chimney. Interior chimneys are better because they are more insulated from the elements.

In addition to professional inspections…

  • Do frequent self inspections
  • Use a wire brush inside chimney regularly to avoid creosote buildup.

By keeping these safety guidelines in mind, you can be sure that your chimney is working efficiently and keeping your home and family safe. Safely ventilating fireplaces may sound like a small detail but it can have a huge cost if not kept up.


Protect Yourself From Carbon Monoxide Poisoning This Winter

Carbon Monoxide detector by Kidde at Home Depot.
Carbon Monoxide detector by Kidde at Home Depot.

Winter is the time of year when we see a rise in the incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning. This is because winter activity such as lighting a fireplace, heating up a car in the garage and running a heating unit that is leaking are common causes of carbon monoxide poisonings.

Thankfully, carbon monoxide poisoning can be prevented with the installation of a carbon monoxide detector in your house. The CO2 detector will monitor levels of the gas in the air and alert you with an alarm when levels are too high and dangerous. In addition to installing a carbon monoxide detector in your home, you should also have your heating system checked before you turn it on again for winter. Ensure that the system is clean-burning and that there are no leaks in the ventilation system, which could cause an emission of carbon monoxide.

Another simple way to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning is to make sure your garage door is completely open if you are heating up your car. Leaving a car running in an enclosed space can almost definitely lead to CO2 poisoning. If your car needs to be heated up prior to driving, leave your garage doors open so the gas can be released into the air outside.

If you are lighting your fireplace this winter, be sure to burn only hardwoods such as oak or maple to avoid a house fire. Trash, paper or cardboard should never be burned, as these are the most common causes of a fire that spreads into the house.

Safety never takes a holiday. Inspect your home heating system, practice safe measures when it comes to heating your home and your car. Install a CO2 detector to ensure that your family stays safe and warm this season.

About Aurora Home Inspections in Bergen County, NJ

Aurora Home Inspections is owned and operated by Larry Smyj, a NACHI Certified Master Home Inspector in Bergen County, NJ. The business also offers services to surrounding areas of New Jersey, Manhattan / NYC, Rockland County & Orange County NY & CT.

We are the proud members of the New Jersey Better Business Bureau (An ‘A’ rated and Accredited Member), International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), New Jersey Association of Licensed Home Inspectors (NJ ALPHI) and the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI).

To schedule your home inspection please call our offices at (201) 476-9200 or send us an email at