Best Practices for Using a Carbon Monoxide Detector

November 28, 2017

bedroom co detector palm springs ca

Carbon monoxide (CO) — found in fumes produced by cars, gas stoves, and furnaces — is a dangerous gas that can build up in your Coachella Valley home. It is odorless and, when inhaled, is fatal for both humans and animals. Proper precautions must be taken to ensure you and your family are safe from this deadly gas.


Dangers of Carbon Monoxide

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 400 people die and 4,000 hospitalized every year from CO poisoning (source). Carbon monoxide poisoning danger increases while sleeping or under the influence of alcohol, as fatal levels of CO can build up without notice. Since July 2011, CO detectors have been legally required in all California homes.


Advice for Placing CO Detectors

The best protection against carbon monoxide poisoning is a series of well-placed, functioning carbon monoxide detectors. Like smoke detectors, CO detectors sound an ear-piercing alarm when activated, alerting everyone in the home of dangerous buildup. When the alarm sounds, the whole house should be evacuated and wait in fresh air until the authorities arrive.

Carbon monoxide detectors are required by California law for all residences to be installed on every floor of your home, along with one required in close proximity to every sleeping area. Another should be installed within 10 feet of the door leading to your garage, to detect CO generated from idling vehicles.

Some detectors can be installed in series, which means if one detects CO, they all sound an alarm. Detectors should be mounted at eye level or below, since CO does not rise to the height of the ceiling. CO detectors should not be subjected to fluctuating temperatures and humidity, so keep them away from direct sunlight, open windows, bathrooms, and heating vents.

Additional Tips for Preventing Carbon Monoxide Buildup:

  • Have your HVAC system serviced and maintained every year.
  • Don’t use gas or charcoal grills indoors.
  • Don’t run your vehicle in a closed garage.

Maintaining Carbon Monoxide Detectors

It is crucial that your carbon monoxide detectors are functioning properly at all times. One handy tip is to replace batteries twice a year during the Spring and Fall – just like your smoke alarms. As part of our Home Opening and Home Closing Services, our maintenance department will replace batteries and test your home’s smoke and CO detectors to ensure they are functioning properly. That way, you can rest easier in your desert home, knowing that you and your family are protected by carbon monoxide detectors.