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What CO Detectors Can & Cannot Do

Carbon Monoxide Alarms

What they can and cannot do

  • CAN - sense unacceptable levels of CO in the air

  • CAN - provide early warning, before a healthy adult might show symptoms

  • CAN - act as round-the-clock monitor of CO

  • CAN - only sense CO that reaches it - Where you hang a detector is important

  • CAN - breakdown like any other electronic device

  • CANNOT - work without electrical power (batteries, AC)

  • CANNOT - sense smoke, natural gas, propane, etc. (It is not a smoke detector!)

Where to put (or not put) your detector

  • PUT - near a bedroom, or other room where people spend most of their time; where its alarm can be heard.

  • READ the instructions that come with your Detector.

  • DO NOT PUT - in garage, furnace room, near cooking stove, etc.

  • DO NOT PUT - in dead air space, corner of room, near floor, in peak of vaulted ceiling.

  • DO NOT PUT - near open windows or doors.

  • DO NOT PUT - in excessively hot or cold areas, or excessively damp or dry areas.

  • DO NOT PUT - a cloth or plastic cover over the detector.


Used with permission from the author

David G. Penney, PH.D.