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Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Carbon Monoxide. Unfortunately, each year it seems these words are used to describe the cause of death of a local family. Not only do 400 die each year, 20,000 visit the emergency room, and over 4000 are hospitalized from CO poisoning. What bothers me the most is that almost all these incidents could have been avoided with proper furnace maintenance. As you know, time flies and if you haven’t had your appliances serviced in the past year, get it done today. A professional inspection will assure that your furnace is properly inspected and cleaned. The technician will inspect the exhaust system for proper and safe operation and will test for proper CO levels.

OK, so now the appliances have been inspected and are safe, but you still need to protect your family with a carbon monoxide detector.

The placement of the detector is important. Never place your detector in the following locations: areas that are humid like bathrooms, anywhere over or very near to your furnace or hot water tank, and at least 15’ or more away from your stove.

As far as where the best placement for your CO detector, I recommend following the manufacturer’s instructions that came with your unit as each manufacturer has different

requirements based on their testing. If you do not have these instructions here are some basic

suggestions. Try to keep the detector location about waist high as CO becomes diluted near the floor of your home. You should have a detector on every floor, even the basement. Bedrooms should have a detector within 10’ of each bedroom just make sure you can hear the detector in the rooms.

Some detectors use batteries and these batteries may have long since needed replacement so check yours now. Also, the detector lifespan is not indefinite and if you have an older detector that is 5-6 years old you might want to replace it soon. Newer detectors will even tell you when their time is up.

If you are buying a new detector, I recommend a model that has a display showing the actual amount of CO it is registering. These models are best because they will display readings as low as 1 or 2 parts per million CO. Anything other than 0 PPM in your home is unacceptable so these models with a display give you a great early warning. Models without a display do not alarm till about 70 PPM and that is after 60-240 min. at that exposure.