Carbon monoxide, also known as CO, is a colorless, odorless gas that can produce dangerous effects at high levels, especially in enclosed spaces. Therefore, it is important to know what sources give off this substance indoors, as well as where to place a CO smoke detector inside your property to make all the difference in how effective it is at saving lives.
Where Should Carbon Monoxide Detectors Be Placed?
So, with courtesy, we provide you with this guide about carbon monoxide detectors, including where should a carbon monoxide detector be placed, to help keep your loved ones, employees, and customers protected.
Table of contents:
- What gives off carbon monoxide?
- Carbon monoxide symptoms
- How carbon monoxide detectors work
- Where to install carbon monoxide detector
- How many CO detectors do I need?
- Tips for preventing carbon monoxide from building to dangerous levels inside your property
- Signs you may have a CO leak
- Let CornerStone Protection help protect your property from CO2 poisoning
What Gives Off Carbon Monoxide?
Many appliances and equipment inside your property can release carbon monoxide; however, it is only dangerous when they emit the gas at high levels because it enables too much CO to enter the bloodstream, which replaces the oxygen in the blood and tissues with the toxic gas, thus causing poisoning.
Hence, knowing which devices are capable of releasing excessive carbon monoxide inside your property will help you monitor them for signs of a dangerous leak. That said, some of the most common sources of CO include:
- Central heating units
- Water heater
- Clothes dryers
- Gas stoves
- Wood stoves
- Lawn equipment
- Charcoal grills
- Camp stoves
- Pellet fuel stacks
- Tobacco smoke
- Open fires
- Any other fuel-burning apparatus
Carbon Monoxide Symptoms
Trace amounts of CO pose no threat to your body’s oxygen intake. However, should its level exceed 9ppm or higher, it can begin to make you ill and put you at risk of death. Therefore, it is also important to recognize the symptoms of carbon monoxide positioning to prevent it from becoming dangerous, which include:
- Feeling sick to your stomach
- Mild head throbbing
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain
- Pets seem ill
- You feel better when outside the property
- More than one person feels ill
Symptoms of CO2 poisoning typically start out mild when exposed to a level of 50ppm and then slowly begin to worsen in time and as its level increases. After this time, mild headaches will become more intense, and affected individuals will become even sicker.
However, after carbon monoxide levels reach 400ppm to 800ppm, exposure to it for more than 45 minutes to 2 hours can cause convulsions or even death.
It is also not uncommon for some people not to exhibit any signs of poisoning at all. Therefore, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends carbon monoxide detector installation inside your property to detect the potentially fatal odorless, tasteless, clear gas whether symptoms are present or not, which will sound within 15 minutes of detecting prolonged levels of CO above 70ppm.
How Carbon Monoxide Detectors Work
UL-certified carbon monoxide detectors are calibrated to detect the dangerous buildup of CO over time. This way, if the level of gas inside the property exceeds industry safety standards, it will sound an alert so that everyone can take the proper precautions to exit the building and dial 911 for help.
For instance, if carbon monoxide levels reach 70ppm, which is the lowest lethal concentration of CO according to industry safety standards, the detector’s alarm will go after it has been elevated at that level for an hour or more.
Where to Install Carbon Monoxide Detector
For maximum safety, your UL-certified CO detector should be placed everywhere throughout your property, including:
- Outside bedroom doorways.
- On every floor, including the basement.
- Inside an attached garage.
- Inside the room above the garage.
- Near garage door that opens to your home.
- Near gas-burning stoves and other appliances.
- Near fireplaces.
The best place for CO detector should be on a wall or ceiling at least five feet above the floor or at eye level, which will ensure the carbon dioxide detector mounting height is out of reach of children and pets.
However, the carbon monoxide detector placement on the wall should never be directly beside or above fuel-burning sources because it can cause a false alarm each time they are ignited. Instead, the position of carbon monoxide detector should be at least 15 feet away from appliances and heaters and within 10 feet of each room door.
You should also avoid installing them in areas where high humidity could interfere with their sensors, such as near open windows, sunlit areas, and the bathroom.
How Many Carbon Monoxide Detectors Do I Need
The number of carbon monoxide detectors you need will depend on the size and number of rooms inside your property, as well as if it also has an attached garage. As a general rule, there should be a CO detector on every floor of your home, as well as one outside each bedroom, and one near the garage.
It also helps to have each detector interconnected to the other so that if one goes off, they will all go off.
However, if your property is small, you can install just one CO detector inside, but be sure it is loud enough to wake everyone in the house.
Tips for Preventing Carbon Monoxide from Building to Dangerous Levels Inside Your Property
- Don’t allow your vehicle to run in an enclosed garage.
- Keep your vehicle’s exhaust pipe clear of snow.
- Never use a gas-powered stove to warm your home.
- Only use a gas-powered grill in ventilated spaces.
- Avoid using gas-powered equipment indoors.
- Never use a charcoal grill, camping stove, or other gas-powered cooker inside a camper, tent, or building.
- Ensure chimneys and flues are kept clear, leak-free, and have no loose connections.
- Have heating system, water heater, and any other gas or coal-burning appliance serviced by a professional technician annually.
- Avoid excessive tobacco use indoors.
- Test carbon monoxide detector’s batteries once a month.
- Replace CO detector every five to six years.
Signs You May Have a CO Leak
- Cooking or combustion flames are yellow
- Yellow or brown smoke or soot inside property
- Stale or burnt odor coming from appliances due to faulty combustion
- A pilot light that frequently goes out
- Yellow or brownish colored stains around appliances
- Chimney flue has no upward draft
- Heavy condensation on windows near gas-powered appliance
Let CornerStone Protection Help Protect Your Property from CO2 Poisoning
Carbon monoxide detection often remains a mystery until it is too late, which is why it is often coined the silent killer. However, understanding the sources of the gas and how it rears its ugly head in your property helps take the guesswork out of hindering its effects by knowing what to look for when it is present and installing carbon monoxide detectors to alert you when it reaches high levels and becomes dangerous.
Meanwhile, a company like ours at CornerStone Protection has 30+ years of experience helping local customers choose and install the best CO detectors for maximum protection of their property. So, whether you are a home or commercial business in Lexington, Kentucky, and surrounding areas looking to improve your building’s safety against carbon monoxide poisoning, be sure to schedule a consultation with us or visit our contact page to see how we specialize in helping you achieve your goal.