top of page
Pink Sugar

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

A carbon monoxide detector is a device that detects the presence of carbon monoxide gas in order to prevent CO poisoning. Carbon monoxide, also known as CO, is called the “invisible killer” because it's a colorless, odorless, poisonous gas. It is undetectable to the human senses, so people may not know that they are being exposed. CO poisoning can occur when a fuel-burning appliance or machine, such as a furnace, heater or generator, is not working or vented properly.

CO detectors are designed to measure CO levels over time and sound an alarm before dangerous levels of CO accumulate in an environment. This allows for adequate warning to safely ventilate the area or evacuate. Some system-connected detectors also alert a monitoring service that can dispatch fire and emergency medical services if necessary.

Pink Sugar

Choosing and Using a CO Detector

CO detectors are widely available and can either be battery-operated or AC-powered (with or without a battery backup). Some smoke detectors are equipped with an internal rechargeable battery backup that recharges when the detector is receiving AC power. All CO detectors have test buttons like smoke detectors and should be used regularly.


Where Should I Place a CO Detector?

CO tends to rise so it is better to place CO detectors on a wall approximately 3-5 feet above the floor or
on the ceiling. Always follow the manufacturer's written installation instructions. Do not place the detector next to or over a fireplace or flame-producing appliance. Keep the detector out of the way of pets and children.


How many CO Detectors should I have?

Each level of a home needs a separate detector. If you are getting a single carbon monoxide detector, place it near the sleeping area and make certain the alarm is loud enough to wake you up.

What Do I Do if the Alarm Sounds?

Don't ignore the alarm! It is intended to go off before you are experiencing symptoms. Get all members
of the household outside into fresh air and immediately call 911. Ventilate the building, identify and
remedy the source of the carbon monoxide before returning inside, and have appliances or chimneys
checked by a professional as soon as possible.

bottom of page