Carbon monoxide (CO) is often referred to as an invisible killer. It is an odorless, colorless, invisible gas created when fuels burn incompletely. In the home, heating and cooking equipment are the most common sources of CO gas. Having properly placed and functioning CO alarms installed is an important step to ensure home safety.
Carbon monoxide poisoning can be caused by exposure to small amounts of CO over a longer period of time, or by a large amount of CO in a shorter period. Without a CO alarm, leaks often go undetected, vastly increasing the risk of life-threatening CO poisoning.
Carbon Monoxide Alarm Tips:
- Choose a CO alarm that is listed by a qualified testing laboratory.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for placement and mounting height. CO alarms should be installed in a central location outside sleeping areas and on every level of the home. If placement recommendations overlap with smoke detector placement recommendations, combination CO/smoke alarms can be installed.
- Test CO alarms at least once a month and replace them according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- If the CO alarm sounds, make sure everyone inside the home is accounted for and move immediately to fresh air outdoors or by an open window or door. Call 911 and remain outside until emergency personnel confirm it is safe to re-enter the home.
- If the CO alarm is chirping, or giving a trouble signal, follow manufacturer's instructions to check and replace low batteries. If it still sounds, call 911 – fire department personnel will be dispatched to investigate and ensure a safe environment.