Providing an additional safety measure in homes and buildings with a natural gas connection, a carbon monoxide smoke alarm is a necessity. While deadly carbon monoxide can be detected through smell, it can just as easily escape notice. A carbon monoxide detector features an electrochemical sensor designed to take frequent CO-level readings and sound the alarm if the level crosses a threshold. Combo carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms are doubly useful, as the alarm will sound when smoke is detected as well.
Combo Alarm Design
Companies such as Kidde, First Alert and Universal Security provide a variety of carbon monoxide smoke alarm combos priced around $40. Two safety devices in one, a combo carbon monoxide smoke alarm saves space. Designed like a traditional smoke alarm, a carbon monoxide smoke alarm features both detection devices, but does not require any additional power source.
Equipped with a single test button, a carbon monoxide smoke alarm allows you to periodically check its power level to be sure it's working. One model from Kidde, for example, features a built-in voice alarm that specifies the danger, announcing if the threat is fire or carbon monoxide. Combo alarms are also equipped with a low-battery indicator, either a regular chirp or a red LED or both.