If you own a public property like a business or a residential property like an apartment complex, you are required to have carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors installed throughout your property. However, if you live in a home, it is your choice whether or not you have one installed in your home. So here are a few reasons to get carbon monoxide detectors installed in your home:
Carbon monoxide has been nicknamed the silent killer. Odorless and very dangerous, carbon monoxide can go undetected for a long period of time. Carbon monoxide inhibits our body’s ability to carry oxygen. Various home appliances can emit carbon monoxide including furnaces, clothing dryers, chimneys, and space heaters. Because it is common to use heating elements while also having your windows and doors shut during the winter this leads to a dangerous combination of potentially high levels of carbon monoxide and low levels of ventilation to keep you safe. Overall, it is just good thinking to have a working carbon monoxide detector in your home or apartment especially during the winter months where there may be an increased risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
According to most government studies on carbon monoxide detection, it is wise to install at least one detector per floor of a home. It is recommended that at least one detector is placed near where you sleep so it can wake you up in the event of increased levels of carbon monoxide in a home. It is recommended that detectors are placed at least 15 feet away from appliances that emit low levels of carbon monoxide as this can create a false positive. Heating and cooking appliances are both categories of appliances that follow this rule. It is not generally wise to put your carbon monoxide detector in the kitchen or directly above an oven. It is also important to know that carbon monoxide detectors are not smoke detectors (however dual detectors are sold). Having one detector does not inherently mean you are covered on both bases.
You should always test your carbon monoxide detector. Each detector comes with a test button that you can press and hold. If your detector is working it will beep four times, pause, and then beep a second set of four beeps. This will at least test if the alarm is functioning. However, this does not test whether or not the detector is able to detect carbon monoxide. To accomplish this you could buy a test kit that has a canister of CO for testing purposes. However, if you are not comfortable testing this by releasing CO in your home, you should consider having a local provider handle the test.
If you have any additional questions about Carbon Monoxide or smoke detectors, we would be happy to answer them. We provide installation, repair, and replacement services in the Greater Boston area as well as other handyman services in the area. Give us a call for more information.