Carbon monoxide detectors are crucial to your home’s safety. In fact, the state of New York requires carbon monoxide detectors for nearly every home. Every year thousands of people are affected by this colorless, odorless and toxic gas.
Created when fuel does not burn completely due to a lack of oxygen, CO can be fatal from an sudden release of a large quantity of the gas. It also can cause slow poisoning from long-term low levels.
Carbon monoxide in your home can be dangerous, but avoiding it in high levels is simple. By properly placing detectors, you can be sure that the level of carbon monoxide in your home is non-threatening — and be warned when it’s threatening.
Ideally, you should install a carbon detector on each level of your home. But the most important place for a detector is near bedrooms and sleeping spaces. New York requires alarms to be installed within 15 feet of the main entrance to each bedroom. That’s because if you’re asleep, you’re less likely to notice the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. (Symptoms include dizziness, headaches, nausea and light-headedness.)
Avoid placing a carbon monoxide detector within 15 feet of appliances that burn fuel — such as heating or cooking appliances — because many of these appliances emit small amounts of carbon monoxide when they start up. Avoid rooms with high humidity levels, such as bathrooms and laundry rooms.
Most carbon monoxide detectors last for five or six years before they need to be replaced. Battery-operated CO detectors may use power faster than a smoke alarm. If you have the choice, choose plug-in detectors with battery backup.
If you have questions about carbon monoxide detectors or would like assistance selecting the alarms that are best for your residence, please contact the experts at T.F. O’Brien Heating & Cooling.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about carbon monoxide detectors and other HVAC topics, click here to download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.