Carbon Monoxide Guide
monoxide (CO) detectors.
home should have one or more CO alarms. This applies to homes with
electric appliances as well if you have an attached garage, a fire
place, or if you use portable kerosene heaters, etc.
alarms are necessary because there is no other way to detect its
presence until it is too late. The gas has no odor, no color and no
smell. Firefighters need special detection equipment to find the
source. Back when CO alarms first hit the market, many fire
departments were not trained or equipped to find CO.
Sources of Carbon Monoxide:
Un-vented kerosene and gas space heaters; leaking
chimneys and furnaces; back-drafting from furnaces, gas water
heaters, wood stoves, and fireplaces; gas stoves; generators and
other gasoline powered equipment; automobile exhaust from attached
garages; and tobacco smoke. Incomplete oxidation during
combustion in gas ranges and unvented gas or kerosene heaters may
cause high concentrations of CO in indoor air. Worn or poorly
adjusted and maintained combustion devices (e.g., boilers, furnaces)
can be significant sources, or if the flue is improperly sized,
blocked, disconnected, or is leaking. Auto, truck, or bus
exhaust from attached garages, nearby roads, or parking areas can
also be a source.
ARE MANY LAWS IN EVERY STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT THAT REQUIRE
AT LEAST ONE CARBON MONOXIDE AND SMOKE DETECTOR IN EVERY
HOME. THEY MUST BE LOCATED IN THE BEDROOM AREA. IF YOU
RENT, YOUR LANDLORD SHOULD HAVE SUPPLIED YOU WITH ONE. YOU
SHOULD TAKE THE RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE SURE THE ALARM IS
MONOXIDE and SMOKE
DETECTOR Helpful Tip Pick
a holiday or your birthday and replace the batteries each year
on that day.
is most important to be sure combustion equipment is maintained and
properly adjusted. Vehicular use should be carefully managed
adjacent to buildings and in vocational programs. Additional
ventilation can be used as a temporary measure when high levels of CO
are expected for short periods of time.
gas appliances properly adjusted.
purchasing a vented space heater when replacing an unvented one.
proper fuel in kerosene space heaters.
and use an exhaust fan vented to outdoors over gas stoves.
flues when fireplaces are in use.
properly sized wood stoves that are certified to meet EPA emission
standards. Make certain that doors on all wood stoves fit tightly.
a trained professional inspect, clean, and tune-up central heating
system (furnaces, flues, and chimneys) annually. Repair any leaks
not idle the car inside garage.
standards recommend that a CO alarm be placed near the bedrooms close
enough to hear it when the bedroom doors are closed. If the bedrooms
are not together, additional CO alarms will be needed. In larger
homes, just one CO alarm may not be close enough to other parts of the
home to be heard. For example, if the CO alarm is upstairs and you
have a family room on the lower level, you might need an additional
unit to be close enough to hear it. If the room in in the basement,
there will be two levels separating you from the CO alarm, so it is
less likely that you will hear it. In this case, a CO alarm on each
level is prudent.
CO alarms manufactured
today only respond to higher levels of CO that are an imminent threat.
January 2005, there has been much action taken across the nation to
ensure that CO detection becomes part of the residential life safety
Return to: Smoke
Alarm Part 1, Smoke
Part 2, Carbon
Monoxide, Fire Escape Plans, Fire Extinguishers,