Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless and toxic gas produced as a by-product of combustion. Any fuel burning appliance, vehicle, tool or other device has the potential to produce dangerous levels of CO gas. Examples of CO producing devices commonly in use around the home include:
- Charcoal grills
- Fireplaces and woodstoves
- Fuel fired furnaces (non-electric)
- Gas dryers
- Gas stoves
- Gas water heaters
It is reported that approximately 200 people per year are killed by accidental CO poisoning with an additional 5000 people injured. These deaths and injuries are typically caused by improperly used or malfunctioning equipment aggravated by improvements in building construction which limit the amount of fresh air flowing in to homes and other structures.
While regular maintenance and inspection of gas burning equipment in the home can minimize the potential for exposure to CO gas, the possibility for some type of sudden failure resulting in a potentially life threatening build up of gas always exists.
Where to Put Your Detector
It is recommended to have a detector on each floor of a residence. At a minimum, a single detector should be placed on each sleeping floor with an additional detector in the area of any major gas burning appliances such as a furnace or water heater.
Installation in these areas ensures rapid detection of any potentially malfunctioning appliances and the ability to hear the alarm from all sleeping areas.
In general, CO detectors should be placed high (near the ceiling) for most effective use. Detectors should also not be placed within five feet of gas fueled appliances or near cooking or bathing areas. Consult the manufacturers installation instructions for proper placement of a detector within a given area.
If you have any questions about carbon monoxide detectors, feel free to let us know.