Where Should Carbon Monoxide Detectors be placed in Your Home?


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“Where should carbon monoxide detectors be placed in your home” is asked by many people? HomeUnfortunately, carbon monoxide returns to the fore every winter. Invisible and odourless, this toxic gas is emitted by ageing or poorly maintained heating devices from September to March, there usually many accidents due to poisoning around the globe. However, some detectors prevent accidents and save lives! Here is everything you ought to know about the carbon monoxide detector to live in a secure home.

What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is a carbon atom (C) molecule and an oxygen atom (O). In the gaseous state, this molecule (CO) is completely odourless and colourless. Undetectable by humans, it does not irritate the eyes or the respiratory tract.

Carbon monoxide is particularly harmful to mammals and, therefore, to humans. It can be fatal in the event of high concentrations or prolonged breathing. In nearly 80% of cases, it causes headaches, nausea, and blackouts to the point of suffocation. This toxic gas is formed during so-called incomplete combustion in poorly maintained household appliances.

Where does Carbon Monoxide come from?

Formed from incomplete combustions, as is the case inside old and poorly maintained heaters, carbon monoxide can spread throughout the home at any time when these different materials are burned:

  • Wood
  • Oil
  • The gas
  • The coal
  • Gasoline
  • Fuel oil
  • Propane and butane

Electrical devices, such as heaters, cannot produce carbon monoxide. In the case of fault-free operation, these devices allow sufficient air to enter. Thus, the small amounts of CO to which you are exposed are harmless. However, a dangerous situation can quickly arise if the air ducts or chimneys are not functioning correctly.

Oddly enough, this is more often the case in newer buildings than in older buildings. Indeed, the often inadequate waterproofing of old houses allows toxic gases to escape more easily into the open air, while new buildings’ excellent insulation prevents it. Ensure you are well informed about the conditions of use of your heating devices and your home’s ventilation. Furthermore, improperly functioning heating or cooking appliances can produce carbon monoxide. These include:

  • Boiler, water heater, auxiliary oil heating, gas radial panels, braziers.
  • Gas stove, charcoal barbecue.
  • Wood or pellet fireplace, decorative ethanol fireplace.
  • Car, motorcycle, generator set, and some DIY devices, etc.

Opt for safety: Get the Carbon Monoxide Detector.

Although the best way to avoid CO at home is to control the equipment and facilities we use, we could use a detector for this gas as an additional tool.

Carbon monoxide detectors are devices whose function is to verify that these gas levels in the home areas allowed. These devices work in a more than simple way: the moment it identifies an increase in CO in the air, it triggers an alarm. Its operation is quite similar to that of smoke detectors, though the ringtone is generally different from that of a smoke detector to differentiate them.

The detector housing usually has a screen, one or more indicator lights, and a test button to check if it is in good working order regularly.

Different types of carbon monoxide detectors on the market available. From the simplest, which trigger an alarm by identifying CO to the most advanced connected to local emergency services. The latter sends a signal that there is urgency in the home for an ambulance, fire brigade, or the police to come to the house.

Perhaps this may be a bit exaggerated, but it all depends on how much we want to avoid a complication from carbon monoxide in our home, especially if there are young children, people with heart diseases, the elderly, and smokers more vulnerable to CO.

Of course, the environments where we place the detectors will have to do with those places where there are gas appliances. It is not necessary to install them in every room.

Where should carbon monoxide detectors be placed in your home?

Painless, colorless, and almost undetectable to the taste, carbon monoxide is particularly sneaky because inhaling it can have severe health consequences, even leading to death. Carbon monoxide (or CO) detectors warn us of any leaks of this hazardous gas and protect us against the risk of fatal poisoning. But for this, they must be placed in the right place.

It is required to install a carbon monoxide detector in each room equipped with a combustion device. Local regulations may also impose other rules on you.

Additionally, it is strongly advised that you install a carbon monoxide detector as follows:
  • inside and outside each bedroom
  • If you close your bedroom door before going to bed, be sure to install a smoke and monoxide carbon detector in your bedroom and the adjoining hallway. A metal or closed door can also prevent smoke from reaching the sensor. 
  • In rooms that are often used but too far away to hear an audible signal
  • The occupants of a small house at the back of the garden, a home office, or any other room far from the detectors may not hear the alarm in an emergency. 
  • Outside the boiler room and other rooms equipped with combustion appliances
  • Combustion appliances can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Among the devices that generally emit carbon monoxide are gas boilers, gas ovens, and traditional (wood) fireplaces. A detector placed outside the boiler room or laundry room can allow you to be notified if there is a carbon monoxide leak. A carbon monoxide detector is necessary even if you do not have combustion devices in your home, as this gas can pass through a party wall. 
If the detector is installed in the same room as a fuel-burning appliance, you must adhere to the following rules:
  • The device must be placed between 1 m and 3 m, depending on the horizontal, from the possible source
  • If the room has a partition, the device should be placed on the same side as the potential source
  • Carbon monoxide detectors installed in rooms containing sloped ceilings should be placed on the side of the room with the highest ceiling
If the detector is installed on the wall:
  • it should be placed near the ceiling
  • it should be installed higher than the height of the door or window
  • the carbon dioxide detector mounting height must be at least 15cm from the ceiling
If the detector is installed on the ceiling:
  • it must be installed at least 30 cm from the wall and any obstacle on the ceiling, such as lighting.

Where not to Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors?

The detector must not be installed:

  • In a confined space (for example, in a closet or behind a curtain)
  • Where it can be hidden (by furniture, for example)
  • In garages, as engine exhaust gases can also cause false alarms and damage the smoke detector sensors. 
  • Directly above the sink
  • Next to a door or window
  • Near an extractor hood
  • Close to aeration or similar ventilation devices
  • Where dirt or dust can obstruct the sensor
  • In a wet or humid place (in a bathroom, for example)
  • Within 1 m of any other device
  • 1 m from cell phones
Things to check before replacing carbon monoxide detectors

According to the above instructions and local regulations, if your home is already equipped with carbon monoxide detectors, check that they are arranged correctly. In particular, older homes do not always meet the most current regulatory standards.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where are carbon monoxide detectors required in a home?

As earlier highlighted, carbon monoxide detectors are needed Inside and outside each bedroom, as well as outside the boiler room and other rooms equipped with combustion appliances.

Should you put a carbon monoxide detector near your furnace?

It recommends that you put a carbon monoxide detector 5-20 feet from CO sources such as a furnace.

Are plug-in carbon monoxide detectors good?

Plug-in carbon monoxide detectors with spare batteries are easily obtainable. Still, as gas levels tend to increase, the standard placement of power sockets close to the floor tends to make this type of carbon monoxide detector imperfect.

Does carbon monoxide gas rise or fall?

Carbon monoxide gas usually rises, even if it contains components that at equal temperatures are denser than air.

How do I know if my First Alert carbon monoxide detector is working?

You can test if your First Alert carbon monoxide detector is working by pressing the “Test” button attach to the alarm cover until the alarm sounds. The alarm horn will sound: 4 beeps first, pause, then four beeps again. If the device does not alarm, make sure it is activated correctly, and then test again.

Last Words

In conclusion, as part of a comprehensive, intelligent security system, carbon monoxide detectors take safety and security to a whole new level. Such equipment can help ensure your peace of mind, minimize the amount of maintenance required. They can also give you the flexibility to stay up-to-date and informed about your home’s security status. Furthermore, the proper placement of a carbon monoxide detector needs to ensure its optimum performance. And for those who tend to ask ‘ Where should carbon monoxide detectors be placed in your home This question has been adequately answered through the carbon monoxide detector placement code highlighted above. Hope you have learned Where should carbon monoxide detectors be placed in your home.

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