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Differences Between Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

By WenSue |

The presence of a smoke detector is necessary for every home because your safety is your responsibility. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors can protect your life. However, they both have differences in their nature. Carbon monoxide is called a silent killer because it's odorless and only it can be observed with a detector to alert you earlier. While on the other hand smoke detectors alert you and keep you warn about the existence of fire and smoke.

Do I need a smoke detector if I have a carbon monoxide detector?

Organizing and maintaining smoke and carbon monoxide detectors can protect your life and home very well. Fortunately, they are easy to install with the best innovative features. A carbon monoxide detector should be launched in every living area because CO is most dangerous and odorless that one cannot see it with a naked eye.  So, no matter, you are having electric heating system or fuel-consuming appliances, you need to have a CO Detector as CO may seep even through your neighborhood or your own car garage.

Smoke detectors are useful for tracking both the burning fires and flaming fires. Therefore, it should be installed on each floor near the living area, where they can listen easily by you in case of any emergency. Similarly, you need to install a carbon monoxide detector in your sleeping areas, in the basement, or outside the garage.

What is Smoke Detector Fire Alarms

Smoke detecting alarms are the primary need of your home to keep you and your family safe and protected from fire. There are two types of smoke detectors available in the market; one is ionized and the other is optical. The optical sensor is considered better device as they make the difference between real threats such as smoke and fume created and the fake smoke from cooking, showering, and other daily routine activities that help in minimizing the detection of false alarm. So, you need to install the smoke detectors in all the living areas of your house so that you get the warning before the fire gets worst.

What is Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Well, you are not able to detect the CO gas around the house because it doesn't have any smell which you can detect easily and find a solution. CO results in life-threatening problems for you.  You can keep your life safe, only by installing the carbon monoxide alarms in the house. Yes, it has the best safety features for you to install it in all parts of your home where you can hear the CO detector beeping so that you can take action earlier to realize the situation.

How They Work

You will find two types of smoke detectors in the market that work differently. The ionization smoke detectors are best in detecting the small particles of smoke. This type of detectors uses an electric connection between the two electric diodes. They beep when the electric current is interrupted by the smoke particles. On the other hand, the photoelectric smoke detectors detect the large particles of smoke when they come in the way of the light path and as a result they beep.

Carbon monoxide detectors function in three different categories. Some models contain Biomimetic sensors that detect the CO through a gel that absorbs CO. As the gel absorbs CO, its color changes and hence the detector beeps as a warning. Another type of CO detector uses the semiconductors of some metal oxide. The semiconductor works though the chips just like in the electric circuit. The chip contains silica, as Silica is sensitive to the CO, it alters the amount of electricity flowing through the circuit. The detector, in turn, gets the signal and it starts beeping.  Yet another type of CO detector employs the electrochemical technology for its working. This detector has the chemical-bathed electrodes which change their color if they detect CO present in the room and as a result, the alarm intimates you.

The Placement of Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Yes! You need to know about the equipment as to where to install smoke detector and fire alarms. Well, this makes no sense having a smoke detector in the garage or basement while you are sleeping in your room. You should install the unit on every floor and living place of your house to listen to the sound of the alarm.

Similarly, you can install the carbon monoxide device near your sleeping areas like outside the bedroom and ensure there is at least one on every floor. To keep yourself safe you should install the CO devices near the geysers, generators and outside the garage.


To keep yourself safe and secure, you need to install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors at your home. As they say, “prevention is better than cure”, so you need to work on it properly by installing such devices. Moreover, these systems keep you safe from any hazard like the leakage of smoke and carbon monoxide from any appliances. It will give you an initial warning alarm to investigate and understand the threat.

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