3 Alarms Everyone Needs In Their Home

Alarms play an important part in our everyday lives. Many of us use alarms to wake up at a certain time, or to remind us to take medication at a certain time. Our appliances also often have alarms fitted into them (many washing machines beep to tell us they have completed their spin cycle, while some refrigerators bleep when the door is left open).

However, there are three household alarms that are more important than the rest. Such alarms can protect against dangers, helping us to respond quickly. These include:

Smoke alarms

Smoke alarms can alert us if there is a home fire. They are typically fitted to the roof near the kitchen, however they can be fitted in other rooms too. 

All homes should have a smoke alarm installed. If a fire breaks out in the night, these alarms could save your life. Smoke alarms should be tested regularly to make sure they are working properly.

Carbon monoxide alarms

Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless gas that can be deadly if breathed in. A gas leak could cause this gas to circulate around your home.

Because human senses cannot detect it, a carbon monoxide monitor with an alarm is necessary. These can be placed anywhere in the home, but are often best placed in kitchens or near furnaces where leaks are most likely to occur.

Burglar alarms

Burglar alarms are designed to activate if an intruder enters your home. They are recommended in all homes – especially ground floor homes in areas with a high burglary rate

These alarms are typically fitted to doors or windows. If the window or door is opened, the alarm will go off. It can only be deactivated by a password or other form of identification (such as a fingerprint). 

How to choose the right alarm

All three of these alarms are available in different forms. It is important that you choose your right alarm in order to have the best impact. Below are a few tips for choosing the right alarm. 

Make sure they meet legal standards

Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms must meet specific legal standards to be sold in the US. You should look out for ANSI/UL 268 certification on packaging to make sure that alarms meet legal standards. Alarms purchased from other countries may not meet these standards. You should similarly be wary of purchasing old used alarms. 

Factor in your hearing

If you have hearing loss, a regular alarm may not be sufficient enough to alert you of dangers. An alarm that also vibrates or produces strobe lights may be more effective at alerting you. Some of these alarms can even be paired to smart watches. You can check out this post for more hearing loss safety tips.  

Consider smart alarms

Smart alarms don’t just make a noise but also send an alert message to your smart devices (which could include your phone, your laptop or a smartwatch). If you’re not at home, you will therefore still be alerted of any incident.

Smart burglar alarms can be very useful when away from your home and can be combined with exterior cameras that you may also be able to view through an app. If your burglar alarm goes off, you will be alerted on your phone and you can check the security camera to see if there is an intruder there before calling the police if necessary. 

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Barb Webb. Founder and Editor of Rural Mom, is an the author of "Getting Laid" and "Getting Baked". A sustainable living expert nesting in Appalachian Kentucky, when she’s not chasing chickens around the farm or engaging in mock Jedi battles, she’s making tea and writing about country living and artisan culture.
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