A guide to carbon monoxide...

Where to place carbon monoxide detectors

Carbon monoxide is a leading cause of poisoning deaths and poisoning related injury. Knowing where to place carbon monoxide detectors is key to the proper functioning of the detector.

"Do's" for where to place carbon monoxide detectors:

  • Place detectors in or near sleeping areas - where the sound of an alarm will easily wake people up.

  • Place detectors on each level of a residence.

  • Place detectors as per manufacturer instructions.

  • Carbon monoxide is roughly the same weight as air and over time distributes throughout a room. A detector can be placed at any height in any acceptable location as long as the alarm can be heard.

  • For added protection, place a carbon monoxide detector 10 to 15 feet (3 to 5 meters) from the furnace and other fuel burning heat sources.

"Do nots" for where to place carbon monoxide detectors:

To avoid damage to the detector and to reduce false alarms, do not place CO detectors:

  • in unheated basements, attics or garages

  • in areas of high humidity (bathrooms, showers, laundry areas)

  • where they will be exposed to chemical solvents or cleaners, including hair spray, deodorant sprays, etc.

  • near vents, flues or chimneys

  • within 6 feet (2 meters) of heating and cooking appliances (they may give off a small volume of carbon monoxide when starting up which can trigger false alarms)

  • near forced- or unforced-air ventilation openings

  • within 6 feet (2 meters) of corners or areas where natural air circulation is low

  • where they can be bumped and damaged

  • where directly exposed to weather.


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