I have a smoke detector - do I need a CO Detector as well?
Do I Need a CO Detector?
The short answer to this question is: yes, every home should have a carbon monoxide detector if there is any type of liquid or solid fuel for heating, cooking, or any other use, being used within the home. Even if there are no fuel-burning appliances in the home, cars and motorized equipment create carbon monoxide – so it is best to be safe, and install a CO detector if your home. A smoke detector will not detect carbon monoxide, so it is recommended to have a CO detector as well as a smoke detector.
What is Carbon Monoxide?
CO is a gas present in the air that can be deadly in high levels. It is odorless, colorless, and tasteless – which is why it is so important to install a detector to let you know if it is present in your home. Carbon monoxide is created by the combustion of hydrocarbon fuels such as natural gas, propane, wood, and others.
CO Detector Recommendations
Similar to smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors should be present on every floor of the home, including the basement – and there should be one in or near every sleeping area. A single detector in a hallway with multiple adjoining bedrooms should be sufficient for that area of the home. If the home has a forced air heating system, carbon monoxide may reach each individual room – so it is recommended for each bedroom to have its own detector. Any area of the home that contains a combustion appliance should also have a CO detector.
Carbon monoxide detectors should undergo regular maintenance. Monthly cleanings should be performed, and the battery should be replaced every six months. Detectors should be replaced as recommended by the manufacturer. – to help to track this, write the date of purchase in permanent marker on the back of the unit.