Can I Interconnect Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarms?
Only BRK Brands, Inc. CO alarms or Smoke/CO combo alarms with a "smart interconnect" feature should be interconnected with compatible smoke and heat alarms. The smart interconnect sends a unique signal for smoke and CO alarms on one interconnect wire. With non-smart interconnect CO products, no electrical hazard is associated with such a connection of CO and smoke alarms. However, homeowner confusion can arise when an alarm condition exists when these two devices are interconnected as they have different horn patterns. In addition, the homeowner's response to fire or CO hazards usually requires opposite reactions. In a fire, the homeowner needs to exit the building immediately. In a CO condition the homeowner should shut off appliances and open the windows before leaving the building. Mistakenly identifying what condition caused the alarm can have tragic results. For example, if a fire actually caused the alarm condition and it is mistaken for a CO condition, opening windows and turning off appliances can actually feed the fire and cause the homeowner to be in the building for precious extra minutes they may not have. Conversely, if a CO condition is what initially caused the alarm, and the homeowner believes a fire condition exists and no fire is found, they could succumb to CO poisoning by remaining in the building. It is for these reasons that smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms should not be interconnected in a residential application unless the CO alarms have a smart interconnect feature.