Do We Detect a Safety Threat? Why Fire Isn’t the Only Detector You Need


When it comes to home safety, you might think you’re in good shape if you have a smoke detector. But, depending on your home, you might need other detectors to keep your family safe and sound (and no, we’re not talking about ghost detectors). From carbon monoxide build-up to natural gas leaks, some household threats cannot be seen or heard. Luckily, new devices allow us to protect our families from both visible and invisible threats.

Recently, three new neighbors moved into our SCANA Energy neighborhood. All their houses feature smoke detectors, but should our neighbors invest in other detectors to protect their family? Let’s take a walk around the block and use the clues to learn which detectors we recommend for our new neighbors! 

House 1


  • Clue 1: Our new neighbors invited us in to sit by their wood-burning fireplace.
  • Clue 2: The house is one of the older ones in the neighborhood, and the heating system hasn’t been maintained in several years.
  • Clue 3: Our neighbors don’t smell anything, but they’re starting to experience flu-like symptoms, feeling dizzy and lightheaded.

Answer: We detect a carbon monoxide leak!

Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that is odorless and colorless. Common household items can cause a build-up of carbon monoxide: a charcoal grill, a car left running in the garage, a generator, or a heating system. Luckily, easy-to-install carbon monoxide gas detectors are available at local hardware stores. Not only are these recommended, they’re also required by law in 27 states, including Georgia.

Now it’s your turn: Do you need a carbon monoxide detector?

  • Do you live in one of these states?
  • Does your home have one (or more) fuel-burning appliance/s? These include space heaters, stoves, and even refrigerators.
  • Does your home have an attached garage?
  • Does your home have a fireplace?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should invest in a carbon monoxide detector. For homes that have fuel-burning appliances on multiple stories, like a fireplace on the ground floor and a gas range on the main floor, there should be a carbon monoxide detector on each level. If not, the carbon monoxide detector should be located outside the bedroom. This small investment could save lives; in fact, over one million U.S. homes experience high levels of carbon monoxide each year.

House 2


Let’s continue our trip around the SCANA Energy neighborhood and meet your next neighbor.

  • Clue 1: Your neighborhood is in the metro Atlanta area.
  • Clue 2: The home is older, and your neighbors say they’re planning to fix a few cracks in the walls and foundation and finish the basement in the next six months.
  • Clue 3: This house used to access water from a private water well.

Answer: It’s time to invest in a radon detector!

Radon – like carbon monoxide – is a colorless, odorless gas that can leak into homes through basements or crawl spaces. It is the second leading cause of lung cancer after cigarette smoking, and it’s a surprisingly common problem in homes throughout the country. In fact, as many as one in 15 U.S. homes has high levels of radon, including many buildings in the Atlanta metro area.


Now it’s your turn: Do you need a radon detector?

  • Is your home considered an energy-efficient, airtight home?
  • Does your home have a crawl space?
  • Does your home have a basement with cement flooring?

    If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may want to invest in a radon detector for continued monitoring of radon levels. Although not every home needs a radon detector, it is highly recommended that a radon test be conducted during your initial home inspection. These simple, DIY tests will only cost around $15 to $65 – a price well worth your family’s safety. 

    House 3


    On to greet our last new neighbor. It’s just about dinner time, and luckily, we brought some cookies to say welcome to the SCANA Energy neighborhood.

  • Clue 1: We heard a hissing sound when we were waiting for them to answer the door.
  • Clue 2: Our neighbors had just sat down for dinner. They mentioned that they love cooking and baking gourmet meals and are very particular about each dish’s cooking temperature. 
  • Clue 3: There’s a rotten egg smell spreading throughout the house that has nothing to do with what’s cooking.

Answer: Your neighbors may have a natural gas leak in the house! If you suspect a gas leak, leave the premises. Once you vacate, call 911 or Atlanta Gas Light at 770.907.4231 (inside metro Atlanta) or 1.877.427.4321 (outside metro Atlanta) to report it.

Although natural or combustible gas leaks are rare, it’s important to be proactive about this potentially volatile substance. Natural gas leaks and/or combustible gas leaks can occur inside or outside your home, by your natural gas appliances or along natural gas pipes.  Learn more about the symptoms of a natural gas leak, and be sure to call  Atlanta Gas Light with any questions about natural gas safety or gas safety devices in your home.

Now it’s your turn: Do you need a natural gas/ combustible gas detector?

  • Do you see blue flames when your turn on your stove range?
  • During the winter months, do you use a space heater?
  • Does your fireplace use vented or vent-free gas logs?

Investing in a natural gas or combustible gas detector is essential for anyone using natural gas. Gas detectors should be placed within 10 feet of natural gas appliances, such as a stove or dryer, and about six inches from the ceiling. Want to save? You can purchase a combination carbon monoxide and combustible/ natural gas detector – two for the price of one! 

We’re glad our new neighbors can keep their homes safe and protect their families from all potential dangers. Plus, they claimed to like our welcome cookies (although maybe we should invest in a lie detector test). Now that they’re settled into the SCANA Energy neighborhood, it’s time to tackle the rest of their new homeowner checklist.

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