What to Know About Carbon Monoxide Detectors

What to Know About Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Carbon monoxide alarm on the ceilingSomething that goes overlooked in most households is Carbon Monoxide Detectors. High levels of CO are dangerous, and potentially fatal to residents of the home. A crucial step in home safety is making sure your CO detectors are working right.

Basics of Carbon Monoxide

Carbon Monoxide is a deadly, colorless, odorless, and poisonous gas that is produced by the incomplete burning of various fuels. Some of those fuels include coal, charcoal, wood, oil, kerosene and natural gas, so homes with manual stoves are at a higher risk than homes with other heating methods. On average, 170 people die per year due to carbon monoxide poisoning and faulty CO detectors.

How to Check Carbon Monoxide Detectors

It is always best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when looking to perform a test on your CO detector, but using the test buttons that most units have installed will verify whether or not the circuitry on the device is in proper working order. Most alarms also have a recommended replacement age that can be found in the manufacturer’s instructions.


The best places to install CO detectors for ensuring optimal home safety are outside the bedrooms in every area in your home, as this is the most common place for CO to be found. Alarms are generally easy to install as most just simply plug into wall outlets, but hard wired CO detectors may require battery backup. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends that you do not install CO detectors near heating vents or in kitchens or above fuel burning appliances. Many states require that CO detectors be installed, and the best CO detectors for the highest accuracy in home safety are hard wired CO detectors because they offer security in the event of a power outage.


CO detectors can be found at most home stores such as Home Depot or Lowes. The most popular brands are First Alert and Kiddie who both provide CO detectors that are well known for being reliable, however one should take into consideration how their home is set up before making a purchase. You should also know that not all CO detectors are the same and should be treated as such as they all do not perform the same.

All in all, making sure you have a properly working CO detector is very important because it protects you and your family from suffering Carbon Monoxide poisoning.

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