Combination CO/Smoke Detectors
Two sensors that every building should have are smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Why not include both in one device. With a combination CO and smoke detector, this is possible. It usually more affordable to purchase a combination device rather than two separate sensors. Keep in mind that many of these sensors will require multiple system zones. Each zone will perform a difference function in this situation. For example, one zone might be for smoke detection. Another might be for CO detection. And a third might be for RF supervision if the device is wireless.
Combination CO and smoke detectors are available in both wireless and hardwired options. Wireless sensors are generally easier to install, but they are usually only used with wireless systems. You can technically use a wireless combination CO and smoke detector with a hardwired system, but you will need to add a wireless receiver. On the other hand hardwired CO and smoke combination sensors are mostly used with hardwired systems only. Keep in mind that some building codes may mandate the use of high-voltage CO and smoke detectors. These devices are not integrated with alarm systems directly. But they can be integrated indirectly through the use of takeover listening modules.
The best way to think of a combination CO and smoke detector is that it has all the components of a smoke detector and a CO detector in one device. Due to the additional components, these sensors are usually a little bit larger than standalone sensors. However, you are still saving space by using a two-in-one device. Most combination sensors use photoelectric technology for smoke detection. This involves using a small internal light that becomes refracted when smoke enters the chamber. Some devices may use ionization technology for smoke detection. That said, ionization technology is less commonly used in a combination sensor.
Some combination sensors may also offer other detection technologies. This includes freeze detection and heat detection. Freeze detection can be great for users who live in colder areas and will want to know in a timely manner if an HVAC unit has broken. A failed heater could result in the pipes freezing during the winter months. Additionally, heat detection provides a secondary method for detecting a fire. There are some cases where high temperatures may reach the sensor before the smoke. Having a heat sensor in place for this situations is a worthwhile investment.
By integrating your combination CO and smoke detector with your alarm system you can receive remote alerts whenever an alarm occurs. This is done through an interactive service platform like Total Connect 2.0 or Alarm.com. You can have emails and text messages sent whenever an alarm occurs. This way, you will know immediately if something goes wrong. Please note that this requires active alarm monitoring service from an alarm company like Alarm Grid.