How To Choose And Install A CO Detector

co detectorExposure to carbon monoxide gas is potentially fatal, but because this gas has no color or odor, a carbon monoxide detector is the only way you’ll know about a leak before it affects your health. To protect your family, you need reliable detectors installed in the right locations.

Choose a Reliable Model

Look for a model that can be hardwired into your home’s electrical system. This reduces the risk of dead batteries causing the detector to fail. The detector should still have battery backup, however. A CO buildup can also occur during power outages, for example, from a fire or kerosene lamp.

To keep a closer eye on your home’s CO levels, choose a digital CO detector with a display screen that shows you data such as the most recent peak CO level. This is useful for spotting carbon monoxide problems that might not set off the alarm, but could still cause health issues. If you’re concerned about low-level CO exposure, look for an ultra-sensitive detector that will alert you to levels as low as 30 PPM.

Dual-function models provide smoke and CO detection in one device, making them a good choice if you’re short on space.

Find the Optimal Locations

Your home should have a carbon monoxide detector on every floor and within 15 feet of every bedroom and other sleeping area. If you have an attached garage, place a carbon monoxide detector beside the door to the garage on the inside of your house. This will alert you to CO leaking in from a car or landscaping equipment left running. Mount the detectors around 2 feet below the ceiling.

Keep your detectors at least 15 feet away from heat sources and fuel-burning appliances, as well as sources of humidity, such as the kitchen and bathroom. The locations should also be away from direct sunlight.

Not all detectors are the same, so always follow the instructions that came with the one you bought.

Knowing your carbon monoxide detectors are reliable and correctly installed will give you both a safer home and peace of mind.