Where to Install a Carbon Monoxide Detector in Your Home
Every year, carbon monoxide poisoning kills 400 Americans and hospitalizes 4,000 more. Many of these cases happen inside the home.
Carbon monoxide is a particularly sneaky killer for a few reasons:
– It’s odorless and colorless, so you won’t notice it on your own.
– Symptoms are often described as “flu-like,” meaning it’s easily mistaken for a normal illness.
– Seemingly innocent home features like furnaces, stoves, water heaters, and fireplaces can be sources of CO leaks.
The good news is that it’s easy to protect yourself and your family by installing carbon monoxide monitors in your home. Much like smoke detectors, these small and easy-to-use devices are here to notice what humans can’t, and to alert you if you’re in danger.
It’s easy to monitor your home with carbon monoxide detectors. Here are a few easy tips for effective use:
– The US Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends that alarms be installed on every level of your home.
– Put alarms in central areas, and make sure there is an alarm near each bedroom, so you will be alerted if CO levels become unsafe overnight.
– For protection outside of the home, use a portable device (like the SPARROW wearable air quality monitor).
– Replace the batteries every year.
– Test each alarm monthly.
– The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises replacing detectors every five years.
If your alarm sounds, don’t wait around–get everyone out into the fresh air as fast as possible, then call for help.