Are Your Carbon Monoxide Detectors Installed Properly?
Homeowners who run any type of combustion-powered appliance should have a carbon monoxide detector installed. CO is an odorless, tasteless, invisible gas given off as fuel burns, and it can sicken and kill all living things. Most of your fuel-powered appliances are vented properly, no doubt, but malfunctions can occur. Having your detectors in place and working properly can save the lives of all in your household.
- At least one detector should be placed near the bedroom where you will be awakened if you’re sleeping. CO monitors should be placed on every floor, and even in every bedroom for maximum protection.
- Never install detectors near fuel-burning appliances. These emit a small amount of CO at start-up. Do not place monitors close to cooking or heating appliances (keep them at least 15 feet away), or near bathrooms, where a high degree of humidity is produced.
- Place monitors in rooms above garages.
- For best results, interconnect all monitors so they all sound when one goes off.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for mounting height. Generally they should be at least 5 feet from the floor.
- Do not place CO detectors in direct sunlight, or near an air conditioner vent, an open window or a fan.
Tips for Using CO Monitors
- Remember that CO monitors do not detect smoke, unless you purchase a dual CO/smoke monitor, designed to do just that.
- Test your monitors periodically with the test button to make sure they are working properly.
- If you have a model with a digital readout, make sure it confirms that CO levels are below 70 ppm, the level that is considered safe for most people.
- You may have to change batteries frequently in battery-operated CO detectors.