Smoke & Carbon Monoxide

Smoke Detectors

Too often people think, "I don't need a smoke detector. I'll smell the smoke and wake up." 

    • Did you know... when you go to sleep, your sense of smell goes to sleep too. 
    • Smoke created by fire contains a deadly gas called carbon monoxide... odorless and colorless. As you breathe, it puts you into a deeper sleep and can kill you before you know it.

A smoke detector can alert you to a fire in time to save your life. Remember, the alarm sounds only the warning. Develop and practice an escape plan, so everyone in your household can escape.


Important Smoke Detector Tips

  • Place smoke detector in every bedroom, in hallway, and on each level if second floor or basement.
  • Install on ceiling at least 4 inches from the wall.  
  • Do not place any closer than within 3 feet of an air supply register or alarm may be delayed or near fireplaces and wood stoves to avoid false alarms.
  • Change the battery at least twice a year or sooner if the detector signals a low battery. Daylight Saving Time is a good reminder... when you change your clocks, change your batteries.
  • If hear chirping noise, usually every 60 seconds, the battery is dying. Change the battery immediately. Once the battery is dead, you have no protection.
  • Some smoke detectors are specifically designed for kitchen or bathroom to avoid false alarms.


Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Each year, over 20,000 Americans visit the emergency room from carbon monoxide poisoning not linked to fires, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Plus, as of July 1, 2011, all homes in California are required to have carbon monoxide detectors. Carbon monoxide detectors alert you when this odorless, tasteless gas is present in your home, so you and your family can get out safely.


Replace your carbon monoxide detector before it stops working.

  • The average life expectancy is 7 years.
  • Carbon monoxide detectors do not last forever.
  • Carbon Monoxide Detector Tips Card
  • Click video link in External Links below and hear when to replace your carbon monoxide detector.


Carbon Monoxide Detector Alerts

Does your detector beep quickly and repeatedly?

  • There is carbon monoxide and you need to evacuate.

Is beep constant and display reads “error” or “end”?

  • Replace the detector.

 How often should you check your detector?

  • Check or replace batteries when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall.


For questions about smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, contact the Fire Prevention Division.


External Links

Home Safety Council

Smoke Detector Public Service Announcement Video


This City of Stockton web page last reviewed on --- 9/24/2019