Smoke alarms/detectors are incredible safety devices needed in every home and are widely accepted. But, we have a growing problem most homeowners are not aware of. The smoke sensors in smoke detectors only work properly for 7 to 10 years, depending on the manufacturer. The sensors are not serviceable and the smoke detector should be replaced according to the manufacturer's label.
Smoke detectors have been good at sensing either a smoldering fire or flaming fires, such as paper, but not both. Most homeowners don't know the difference or which is technology is better and advertising has not helped. The solution is finding alarms/detectors with both technologies. I have recently found these new combination devices available at many stores. For example, First Alert has introduced two new combination devices: "OneLink SCO501CN" and "OneLink CO511B". These two units were the top recommendations by "Consumers Reports" (top independent testing company).
There are smoke alarms that have been combined with carbon monoxide detectors and seem like a great idea. But, according to "Consumers Reports", the new combination smoke alarm & carbon monoxide alarms don't function as well as the best individual units. The best solution, in my opinion, is to replace your old alarms before they reach 7-years old with the combination sensor technology smoke alarms and buy a separate carbon monoxide detector.
Chuck retired from an engineering management career to start a home inspection business