Where Should You Put Carbon Monoxide Detectors – It’s no secret that a carbon monoxide (CO) monitor is necessary for your health, whether you’re a homeowner or a renter. However, you may not be sure where to install a carbon monoxide alarm and where not to install it. In this article, we’ll tell you exactly where to place your carbon monoxide alarm and how to get the most out of it through maintenance and other preventative measures. let’s start!
You must install the CO alarm at least 1.5 meters above the ground because CO is lighter than air and rises. If you wish, you can also install the carbon monoxide alarm on your roof.
Where Should You Put Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Unlike smoke, which affects all of the senses, carbon monoxide is tasteless, colorless and odorless, so it cannot be detected without a carbon monoxide alarm. If too much carbon dioxide is inhaled, it can be fatal. In fact, at least 440 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning every year in the United States, and another 50,000 visit emergency rooms. 3
Requirements For Residential Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Although carbon monoxide alarms and smoke alarms are combined into a single device, they work differently. Smoke is detected through a burning or smoldering flame, while carbon monoxide is detected through a faulty fuel burner. To find out more about smoke alarms, read our fire safety tips.
How to install a carbon monoxide alarm depends on the brand and model chosen and varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. However, if you are installing a wireless module with a separate mounting base, you will generally need to follow this process:
Just because the carbon monoxide alarm is installed does not mean the repairs are complete. Follow these tips for maintenance:
Where to start your search for the best CO detector? Here are some important things to keep in mind:
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Although many states require the use of carbon monoxide detectors, specific requirements vary. For example, some states require detectors in all rooms, while others require detectors only in rooms with smoke alarms. In other states, only daycare centers and group homes require detectors. Most states have at least some laws regarding carbon monoxide detectors. These states must be used in all new builds:
Other states require carbon monoxide alarms in private residences by adopting the International Residential Code or state building codes:
Pro tip: To find your state’s laws regarding carbon monoxide alarms, visit the official legislative website or ask your local fire department.
Carbon monoxide, often abbreviated as CO, is a colorless, tasteless, and odorless poisonous gas. It is usually the result of incomplete combustion of carbonaceous materials. 10 CO combines with hemoglobin, a protein molecule that carries oxygen in red blood cells, and steals oxygen from people’s brains and organs, causing death.
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CO is measured in parts per million. Dangerous concentrations of carbon monoxide range from 70 parts per million to 400 parts per million, as shown in the chart below.
The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning depend on the level to which you were exposed. Victims often know something is wrong but are disoriented and unable to leave the exposed area, which is why early detection of carbon monoxide is important.
Note: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you can die from carbon monoxide poisoning without any symptoms if you are asleep or intoxicated.
Moderate exposure may cause headache, confusion, drowsiness and increased heart rate. Even moderate exposure to CO can cause death.
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In the most serious cases of exposure to carbon monoxide, people can suffocate, lose consciousness, suffer heart and lung failure and even die. Up to 40% of carbon monoxide poisoning survivors suffer from memory problems or other serious medical conditions.
Everyone is at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning because we all need oxygen to live. However, some groups are at greater risk because they need more oxygen than most people. Here are some of these groups:
In addition to installing and maintaining carbon monoxide alarms, here are some other ways to protect yourself and your family from carbon monoxide poisoning:
Deciding where to place your carbon monoxide alarm is just the first step in protecting yourself from carbon monoxide poisoning. You also need to keep up with maintenance, as even a small amount of carbon dioxide can be toxic. Read on to find answers to common questions about carbon monoxide alarms. When buying or building a home, carbon monoxide detector requirements can be a little complicated. Each state has slightly different code requirements, older homes and newer homes may have different needs, and there are location regulations too!
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But it’s important to follow these rules because a carbon monoxide detector could save your life. According to the CDC, approximately 400-500 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning each year and as a result, more than 50,000 people are sent to the hospital.
To avoid this problem, requirements were created for carbon monoxide detectors, which we detail below.
Effective July 1, 2009, Governor Bill Ritter signed Colorado House Bill 1091, which requires the installation of carbon monoxide detectors in all homes built, rented, leased, remodeled, or sold.
This is a must for all homes with fossil fuel burning units for heating, any type of fire or attached garages.
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All of these arrangements produce carbon monoxide, which can escape into the home if not properly mitigated. Therefore, it is important to keep your CO detector in place and in working condition.
The only exception to this rule is multi-family homes, which have comprehensive fire alarm systems and carbon monoxide detection systems. If this is the case, your HOA/property management company should follow its own guidelines.
If you buy a home and have it inspected through Scott Home Inspection, we will identify the missing detectors and let you know they need to be installed. Under Colorado law, the seller must install these tools before the sale can be completed.
If you are moving into a new home, the builder must install carbon monoxide detectors and they will be checked during the installation process.
What To Know About Carbon Monoxide
If all the rooms in your house are in the same hallway, you will only need one detector in the hallway. It can be a standalone unit or combined with a smoke alarm.
Carbon monoxide detector requirements specify that this is the only location required. However, this applies to all sleeping areas. Therefore, if your home has rooms on each floor, you will need an outdoor detector on each floor.
A common misconception is that you need a detector on every floor. This is not the case unless there is a bedroom on each floor.
This is a best practice that we also recommend people do. It’s a good idea to place a detector near the most common light sources.
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However, Colorado law does not require this location and you cannot force the seller to install equipment here.
Carbon monoxide is a gas created from exhaust gases from burning combustible materials. This includes natural gas, gasoline and wood, among others.
Typically, this exhaust is well mitigated by chimneys and air ducts, but sometimes these passages can become blocked or damaged and carbon monoxide can return to the home.
A simple example is when a car is in the garage, but the house door is open. Smoke from cars can enter homes and be inhaled by occupants.
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A furnace needs oxygen to burn the gases inside the unit and create a flame. Older furnaces absorb oxygen from the air in the room they are in.
If the room does not have an adequate air supply (i.e., it is placed in a closet without a make-up air return device), the furnace will begin to consume all of the oxygen in the space.
Once the oxygen is exhausted, the combustion flame will create negative pressure in the room, drawing in air from everywhere possible.
With a sealed closet, the only place air can get in is through the drain duct. This is called backtracking.
Installing Your Carbon Monoxide Detector
Because air is removed from the exhaust pipe, carbon monoxide and other exhaust gases have nowhere to go but indoors.
This is a common problem we look for when we do a home inspection. All cabinets and utility rooms should have combustion air supply ducts to provide makeup air to your oil burning equipment.
While the requirements for a carbon monoxide detector are the same, it’s even more important to install one as your furnace ages.
As your furnace ages, rust can build up in the heat exchanger, potentially causing it to crack. Heat exchanger failures can mix exhaust gases and carbon monoxide with the furnace’s normal airflow.
Carbon Monoxide Detector Placement
This means your furnace blower could be pumping dangerous levels of carbon dioxide through your pipes! But do not worry. This is a rare occurrence and carbon monoxide detectors can detect harmful levels before they harm you.
However, if your oven is older, we recommend having it repaired and