Carbon Monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless and toxic gas that is produced as a by-product of combustion. Plenty of items, such as gas dryers, stoves, water heaters, fireplaces, wood stoves and fuel-fired furnaces, can add to the CO levels in your home.
Any appliance or tool that burns fuel can potentially produce dangerous levels of Carbon Monoxide. This is why CO detectors are highly recommended in addition to your smoke detectors.
Every year approximately 200 people in the U.S. are killed by accidental CO poisoning and more than 5,000 people must be treated for accidental poisoning. These incidents might have been prevented by proper placement of CO detectors.
There are a few different types of Carbon Monoxide Detectors. Electrolytic sensor detectors tend to be very costly, while biometric detectors and MOS detectors are relatively inexpensive. No matter which detector you buy, the most important factor is carbon monoxide detector placement.
How many carbon monoxide detectors should I have and where should I place them?
Every floor of your residence should have at least one CO detector, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Additional detectors should be placed near any major gas burning appliance such as a water heater or furnace. CO detectors need to be placed at least five feet away from these appliances, since a small, non harmful amount of CO can be released by these appliances when they turn on. Detector should not be placed near very humid areas such as bathrooms.
If you only have one CO detector, it should be located near your sleeping area, where it can wake you if you are asleep.
Make sure that the area you place your detector in will stay clean, and is out of the way of children and pets.
With the right detectors in place, your worries about deadly CO should be few. If you have more questions about placement, or any other home-comfort issue, the professionals at Roth are always happy to help.