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The Best Placement for Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Personal Safety

Carbon monoxide detectors protect your household from accidental CO poisoning.

Every appliance in your home that burns fuel produces a certain level of carbon monoxide (CO), from your gas furnace to your gas stove. Because carbon monoxide is a deadly but odorless byproduct, carbon monoxide detectors are crucial for measuring the amount of CO present in your home.

Your gas appliances (and wood-burning fireplaces) should have proper venting in order to safely exhaust carbon monoxide from the air. However, if the venting process is disrupted, you could have unnoticed carbon monoxide leaking into your air, which can lead to some potentially deadly consequences.

Your family's safety relies on the proper placement of carbon monoxide detectors, so to help you maximize your protection, let’s review:

  • How detectors measure CO levels in your home
  • The difference between CO alarms vs. monitors
  • Where to place carbon monoxide detectors
  • Where NOT to install your carbon monoxide detectors

At Ackerman Security, we do more than just safeguard your home from robberies and property damage. With our 24/7 monitoring services, we’ll alert youand the authorities within seconds if there are unsafe levels of carbon monoxide, smoke, or gas in your home. For a free quote or to speak with our security experts, call us at (800) 552-1111 today.


How Detectors Measure CO Levels in Your Home

Before discussing where to place your carbon monoxide detectors, it often helps when you can understand how carbon monoxide detectors measure the amount of carbon monoxide in your home. 

CO detectors measure carbon monoxide by molecule count. When that count rises above the acceptable safety threshold, an alarm will ring loudly. Why? Because life physical problems can occur. Symptoms of exposure include dizziness, headaches, disorientation, loss of consciousness, and in extreme cases, death. 

Homes that do not run on gas appliances can still have carbon monoxide in the air. The EPA (or Environmental Protection Agency) estimates that most homes, gas appliances or not, have a low number of CO molecules present. So for absolute certainty that your household is protected, it’s vital that you install carbon monoxide detectors in your home. It’s called “the silent killer” for a reason. You don’t want to risk it!

The Difference Between CO Alarms vs. Monitors

The home safety market is rich with options for carbon monoxide alarms and monitors, and you can purchase them at any hardware store or big-box retailer. That said, it’s important to know the difference between the two before you go out and buy one.

CO Alarms 

Just like a smoke detector goes off when smoke is detected, carbon monoxide alarms will ring very loudly when unsafe levels of CO are detected in your home. However, they only alert you to CO levels that are dangerously high. You could have some carbon monoxide in your air that’s just below the threshold for safety, and your alarm wouldn’t tell you. 

CO Monitors

CO monitors provide a consistent reading of the carbon monoxide molecules present in the air. That way, you can tell if your household is being exposed to any amount of carbon monoxide. Long-term exposure to even low levels of carbon monoxide can present health problems, so this is particularly helpful for protecting your family. 

At Ackerman Security, our 24/7 monitoring services provide the best of both options. We will constantly measure the amount of CO in your air, and we’ll also send you an immediate alert if your home is in danger of CO poisoning. How’s that for peace of mind?

Where to Place Your Carbon Monoxide Detectors

There are specific places within the home to place your CO detectors to work more efficiently.

First, you should have a CO detector on every floor in your home, taking care to place them five feet from the ground, where they'll get the best reading.

Second, carbon monoxide detectors must be near every sleeping area right outside each bedroom. If there are unsafe levels of CO in the air, the alarm will sound before it goes into the bedroom. Again, carbon monoxide is “the silent killer” because it’s odorless. In the middle of the night, while sleeping, there’s no smell to wake you.

Third, if your garage is attached to your house, you'll want to place one next to the interior garage door. Running vehicles emit carbon monoxide quite heavily, so try not to leave your car running while it's in the garage.

In all cases, ensure that you read the instructions on every detector or monitor that you purchase, as it's crucial to follow manufacturer guidelines regarding proper installation. 

Here's a quick recap:

  • Put a CO detector on every floor
  • Place them 5 feet from the ground
  • Ensure one detector near every sleeping area
  • Place next to the interior door of attached garages
  • Follow manufacturer instructions

Where NOT to Install Your Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Just as there are optimal locations for your carbon monoxide detectors, there are also places in your home where they will NOT provide an accurate reading.

For example, placing your carbon monoxide detector close to any fuel-burning appliance will consistently give you false alarms and high readings, rendering it impossible to get an accurate level.

Avoid placing carbon monoxide detectors in humid areas, such as the bathroom or a warm sunroom. The moisture in the air could potentially damage sensitive components of the alarm, causing it to malfunction or fail. Also, installing a CO detector in direct sunlight will negatively affect the alarm's light-sensitive and internal chemical aspects. 

Finally, do not install your detectors and monitors by sources of blowing air, like a fan, vent, or a window that you leave open regularly. Turbulent air can cause CO sensors to malfunction, and vents could potentially blow carbon monoxide molecules away from the monitor, resulting in false readings.

Get Round-the-Clock CO Monitoring, With Help From Ackerman Security

Life already gives us plenty of reasons to worry. Why add something more to your plate? For carbon monoxide detection and monitoring you can trust, turn to Ackerman Security. With our 24/7 monitoring services, we’ll provide ultimate peace of mind that you and your loved ones are protected against CO poisoning, fires, gas leaks, and even water damage or medical emergencies. Get a free instant quote online or call us at (800) 552-1111 today.

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