I have Smoke Detectors; Do I Really Need a CO Detector?

CO or Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, tasteless and odorless gas. Carbon monoxide is produced from incomplete burning of various fuels including coal, wood, charcoal, oil, kerosene, propane, and natural gas. In the home CO can be formed, for example, by open flames, space heaters, water heaters, blocked chimneys or running a car inside a garage.

Detection and prevention of carbon monoxide poisoning in our homes is virtually impossible without a CO Detector properly installed. In some states, including Minnesota, municipal governments require installation of CO detectors.

CO detectors do not serve as smoke detectors and vice versa. Dual smoke/CO detectors are available. Smoke detectors detect the smoke generated by flaming or smoldering fires, whereas CO detectors can alert people about faulty fuel burning devices to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

Proper placement of a carbon monoxide detector is just as important as it is for Fire Detectors. If you are installing only one carbon monoxide detector, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends it be located near the sleeping area, so it can wake you if you are asleep. Additional detectors on every level and in every bedroom of a home provide extra protection against carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carbon monoxide detectors should not be installed directly above or beside fuel-burning appliances, as these appliances may emit a small amount of carbon monoxide upon start-up. A detector should not be placed within fifteen feet of heating or cooking appliances or in or near very humid areas such as bathrooms.

Sadly, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reports Carbon Monoxide as the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in America. According to JAMA 1,500 people die annually due to accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, and additional 10,000 seek medical attention.

So friends, just like protecting your family and home with smoke detectors, CO detectors are another important and affordable way to protect your precious family and your property.

Give us a call if we can help: 612.314.9015