The Dos and Don’ts of Carbon Monoxide Detector Placement
A carbon monoxide detector is your only defense against this odorless, colorless gas, but to get the most from it, careful placement is necessary. The physical properties of carbon monoxide (CO) and the detectors themselves make positioning critical for your protection.
Where to Put CO Detectors
- CO is lighter than air and as it rises, it accumulates near ceilings. Detectors need to be placed higher on the walls or on the ceiling, but not so high that they’re easy to ignore. Battery-operated detectors need to be checked monthly. Putting them in a place that’s eye level or higher, but easily accessed, makes the inspections easier.
- Keep them 15 feet away from any gas burning appliance or fireplace, as well as the connecting door from the home to an attached garage. Small doses of CO are higher around these areas, and may trigger false alarms.
- Put the first carbon monoxide detector near the master bedroom. As you add them, place one on each level of your home.
If you use plug-in CO detectors, find the highest outlet to place them. A detector near the floor may not sound an alarm quickly enough to keep you safe.
If you use detectors that provide periodic readouts of CO levels, place them high enough to read to monitor CO levels.
Where Not to Put Detectors
- Don’t place a detector too close to a bathroom or kitchen. Excessive humidity interferes with their operation.
- Keep them away from direct sunshine.
- Avoid placing near windows that you open while grilling or mowing the lawn with a gas mower. Both of these devices emit large amounts of CO, and false alarms may sound.
While a carbon monoxide detector provides a measure of safety from this deadly gas, your best defense is keeping your home’s combustion appliances running optimally, especially your heating system.
At Sobieski Services, Inc., our goal is to help our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about energy and home comfort issues — especially HVAC and plumbing issues — so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.
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