The Best Places to Put Carbon Monoxide Detectors in Your Home

August 28, 2014
Ross and Witmer

There’s no question that carbon monoxide (CO) detectors save lives. Having one or more in your Mecklenburg home provides you and your family with an early warning system, allowing you time to evacuate your home in the event that dangerous levels of CO are present. If you’re wondering where to place carbon monoxide detectors to maximize their effectiveness and prevent false alarms, here’s a guide to get you started.

What Is Carbon Monoxide?

This invisible, tasteless, odorless gas is found in combustion fumes, produced when any type of fuel is burned. CO gas can buildup in areas with little or no ventilation and cause any or all of the following symptoms:

  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Weakness
  • Headache

In high enough concentrations, carbon monoxide can cause loss of consciousness and death, and should your family be asleep, they may never wake or experience any of these symptoms.

Where to Place Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Proper placement is vital, and if you’re only going to install one CO detector, place it directly outside the sleeping area in your home. For best results, place one detector in each bedroom, and on every level, keeping the following guidelines in mind:

  • While CO weighs about the same as air, it’s likely to be contained within warmer air from a combustion appliance, which will rise. Pay close attention to the manufacturer’s recommendations contained within your installation manual as installation locations may vary.
  • Avoid installing detectors in close proximity to fuel-burning appliances, which can give off trace amounts of CO when starting up, resulting in false alarms.
  • Leave a 15-foot clearance between a detector and cooking or heating appliances, as well as areas with high humidity such as a laundry room or bathroom.
  • Don’t rely on your CO detector to detect smoke, though dual smoke/CO detectors are available.

For assistance or advice on where to place carbon monoxide detectors in your home, call the experts at Ross & Witmer. We’ve proudly served homeowners in and around the Charlotte area since 1945.

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