Every home should have smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, but with so many different kinds on the market, it's difficult to know which is the best option. You want to save money, but you also want to make sure what you're buying will save your life.
Combination alarms like the 2-in-1 smoke and carbon monoxide detector from First Alert will cost you $27. However, while it's good for your wallet, it's not the best for safety. There are two types of fires that need to be detected, and combination alarms are usually only effective in detecting one.
Large, fast-burning fires require ionization alarms, while small, smoldering fires are detected by photoelectric alarms. So, what's the solution? A dual sensor alarm. First Alert makes a dual sensor smoke alarm that includes both an ionization and photoelectric alarm for $21.
Of course, that doesn't help you in the carbon monoxide detection department. To cover all of your bases, you'll want to buy a separate carbon monoxide alarm. First Alert makes a model for $25, which will bring your total cost to $46 for both units, but you'll be better off in the long run for it. Carbon monoxide detectors need to be replaced more often, so you might as well get two alarms.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, you should "install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement." The cost of this coverage may add up, but when it comes to your safety, you don't want to skimp.