Correct Placement of a Carbon Monoxide Detector

Where you place your Carbon Monoxide (CO) detector is of crucial importance and must be thought out well. If you are going to place CO detectors in buildings then take good care to make them as effective as possible in case one day they are actually needed and save lives. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends that if you only place one in the home then position it near where you sleep.


This is so that at the time you are at your most vulnerable you will be close enough for it to wake you should the atmosphere surrounding you be filled with the gas. They do of course recommend that every bedroom you have in the household have a detector installed also to ensure that every level of the house is covered. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) advises each one be outside each sleeping area on the wall together with the instructions that go with it.

It is important to place the detector in a place that should CO be detected it would mean that there was an unwarranted leak, if you place one above where fuel is burned then it will get set off intermittently and often on starting it up. It is recommended to keep the detector at least 15 feet away from these appliances to make sure this does not happen. Another area to avoid is where the air is likely to be really humid, like a bathroom. One factor that is important for considering when placing the CO detector is that the gas is about the same weight as the air it is contained in, but warmer air will make it rise with it. This means that any appliance that is hot, such as a heater, may release some CO in the warm air that rises from it. The specific gravity of CO is less than 4% lighter than normal air. It is worth reading the manual that comes with the CO detector as it may give some guidance as to the best placement for it. The manufacturer has probably put a lot of testing into its safety unit and knows exactly where it should provide most benefit. Checking this before installing is really important.

Carbon Monoxide detector

There must not be any confusion between a smoke detector and a CO detector. They are for different situations, smoke comes from a burning fire, and easily detected by the smell, whereas CO comes from faulty heating appliances for example. Though both are as lethal as each other and a smoke detector should be considered also. There are a few combined smoke and CO detectors on the market, but placement of them may be better in different locations. CO will get produced by fossil fuel burning that has not fully completed, if the process of burning has not finished then CO will be emitted. Often open flames, heaters, car exhaust and blocked chimneys can be the cause of CO.

It is a gas that has no colour, taste or smell and cannot be detected unless a CO detector is operating, it will however act quickly at poisoning the unsuspecting victim. The CO detector used to only last about 2 years but those purchased at Kele will go on for about 6 years. They will also have an alert for when they should be replaced. They all use a loud alarm as the means of telling you that they have detected CO in the atmosphere, but many will tell you via their display the amount of CO present in parts per million (PPM), with a memory of the highest value stored in case anyone wished to check, such as the emergency services. If the CO detector is a battery powered one then it will need to be replaced regularly, the device will alert you when the power begins to get low. Others can be connected to the building system, maybe even monitored by a security company who will send the proper authorities should the alarm get set off.

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