Wired Combination CO/Smoke Detectors
Wired combination CO and smoke detectors are some of the most important devices you can add to a security system. These devices alert the system to the life-threatening events of fires and carbon monoxide gas outbreaks. These are multi-purpose devices that save you the trouble of having to enroll multiple devices. However, there are some restrictions that you should keep in mind if you decide to go with wired combination CO and smoke detectors. In fact, you may find it easier to just go with separate devices for detecting smoke and carbon monoxide. Or even better, you could get wireless sensors to make the installation process significantly easier.
As hardwired devices, combination carbon monoxide and smoke detecting sensors are designed for use with hardwired systems. They need to be involved in a setup where they have a hardwired connection with the panel. Unlike most other hardwired sensors, you cannot use these devices with most wired to wireless converters. This is because most wired to wireless converters will not support life-safety devices. As a result, if you try to use wired combination CO and smoke detectors with a wireless system, it will not work. You will need to get wireless combination CO and smoke detectors instead. Really, you shouldn't even consider going the hardwired route unless you have a hardwired system. These sensors are simply incompatible with wireless alarm panels.
There is also the matter of getting these sensors to work with a hardwired system. Since these detectors have two separate functions in being able to detect fires and carbon monoxide gas, they need to take up two separate zones on the panel. But these sensors can logically only connect with one hardwired zone at a time. As a result, you need a completely separate interface module to make these devices compatible with the system. This makes these sensors unnecessarily complex, and most users don't want to have to bother configuring them to work with their systems. Instead, it is often easier to just have separate sensors for fire detection and CO. The typical user will go with 2-wire smoke detectors and 4-wire CO detectors. Remember that the 2-wire smoke detectors will need to go on a specific zone.
If you do decide that you want to go with a wired combination CO and smoke detector, remember that you will still need to have two separate zones available to accommodate both functions. And you will need to purchase the interface module that makes the device compatible with your system. And you will need to run wires from the sensor to the interface module, which will connect with the panel. Depending on the location of the sensor and the panel, this may involve some difficult wiring. The good news is that you can typically connect multiple devices to the same interface module, so you really only need one to get started setting up your entire home or business.