Why It’s Important to Maintain Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Why it's Importance to Maintain Carbon Monoxide DetectorsThe availability of reliable, affordable carbon monoxide detectors to sense deadly carbon monoxide gas and warn occupants has made these units universally recommended—if not mandated by law—by authorities in most locales. Statistics tell the story: nearly 450 persons each year die from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning and over 20,000 require emergency hospital treatment.

A by-product wherever combustion occurs, common household sources of carbon monoxide (CO) gas include gas-fired appliances and furnaces, wood-burning fireplaces, vehicles running in an attached garage and charcoal grills. Colorless, odorless and tasteless, the presence of carbon monoxide is undetectable by natural human senses. Trace amounts of CO (up to 70 parts per million) in the air generally produce no ill effects in most people. However, the difference between a symptomless level of carbon monoxide exposure and a fatal amount can be quite small—unconsciousness rapidly followed by death can occur when indoor levels accumulate to just 150 parts per million.

Carbon Monoxide Detector Maintenance

The United States Fire Administration recommends one CO detector on each level of the home (basement included) as well as one detector located near every bedroom. Where the house includes an attached garage, an additional detector should be installed near the door leading to the garage.

For optimum sensing results, carbon monoxide detectors should be wall-mounted approximately five feet from the floor.

Like smoke detectors, CO detectors spend most of the time on silent standby, sniffing the air. A unit could potentially become defective without residents knowing it. Therefore, all CO detectors should be tested monthly by pressing the “Test” button on the face of the unit and verifying that the alarm sounds.

Detectors that are battery-operated (or include a battery backup feature) should have fresh batteries installed every six months.

Carbon monoxide detectors usually have an effective service life of 5 to 7 years. Replace with a new unit during that time frame.

Home safety is a permanent priority for the professionals at Paitson Bros., serving the Wabash Valley community since 1922. Ask us for more details about the importance of smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in every residence.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 812-645-6859. 

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    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

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