Odourless and invisible, carbon monoxide (CO) is a dangerous gas that can leak into your home without you even knowing it.
Thankfully, CO detectors are readily available and – if installed correctly in the proper locations – will alert you when they detect any traces of carbon monoxide, greatly helping to improve your home safety.
Carbon monoxide can fill your home from unvented, poorly vented and/or malfunctioning gas or kerosene heaters, gas water heaters, fireplaces, gas stoves, woodstoves and gas furnaces, as well as vehicle exhaust from attached garages. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include fatigue, chest pain, impaired vision, poor coordination, dizziness, nausea and confusion. Sometimes carbon monoxide poisoning can be mistaken for a bad cold or influenza; however, the symptoms will begin to subside once you leave the home. This deadly gas can prove fatal in high levels.
Where To Install CO Detectors
- CO detectors should be installed on every floor.
- Place a detector within 10 feet of bedroom doors and sleeping areas. This helps protect your family from CO poisoning even throughout the night.
- Install a detector at the top of basement stairs.
- Place a detector near attached garages where fumes can leak in and lower your indoor air quality.
Where Not to Install CO Detectors
- Avoid installing near air conditioners, ceiling fans, fresh air returns and heat vents. These can prevent the detector from functioning properly.
- Keep detectors out of direct heat and direct sunlight.
- Never install detectors behind obstructions such as curtains.
- Never install them near fuel-burning appliances. Appliances such as gas water heaters and furnaces give off safe trace amounts of CO, which can trigger nearby alarms. To prevent false alarms, keep the detector at least 10 to 15 feet away from fuel-burning appliances.
- Avoid installed detectors in bathrooms or other areas of high humidity, which will damage the detector and give off false readings.
Carbon monoxide detectors are a relatively inexpensive device that will protect you and your family from a potentially fatal incident. With safety being the top priority, be sure to take every possible measure as we head into the deep freeze.