Each home should have at least one carbon monoxide detector near each sleeping area in the home. CPSC believes that carbon monoxide detectors are as important to home safety as smoke detectors. You should not choose a carbon monoxide detector solely on the basis of cost; do some research on the different features available. Carbon monoxide detectors should be tested and listed to the latest Underwriters Laboratories (UL) standard, and include a minimum 5-year warranty.

 

   
   
   
 
 
Carbon Monoxide Detectors Can Save Lives
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Properly working carbon monoxide detectors can provide an early warning to consumers before the deadly gas builds up to a dangerous level. Exposure to a low concentration over several hours can be as dangerous as exposure to high carbon monoxide levels for a few minutes - the new detectors will detect both conditions. Most of the devices cost under $100. Each home should have at least one carbon monoxide detector in the area outside individual bedrooms. CPSC believes that carbon monoxide detectors are as important to home safety as smoke detectors are. 

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New Standard For Carbon Monoxide Detectors Can Save Lives
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

A new standard for carbon monoxide detectors can help prevent the more than 200 estimated deaths each year attributed to residential carbon monoxide poisoning. (A more recent review claims carbon monoxide as the leading cause of more than 15,000 accidental poisoning deaths in the United States each year and another 10,000 injuries according to the Carbon Monoxide Medical Association) The new standard requires detectors to sound an alarm before consumers are exposed to hazardous carbon monoxide levels. The new detectors must also demonstrate the ability to distinguish carbon monoxide from other gases such as butane, heptanes, isopropyl alcohol, methane, carbon dioxide, and ethyl acetate to prevent false alarms.

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Carbon Monoxide
Environmental Health Center

You should not choose a carbon monoxide detector solely on the basis of cost; do some research on the different features available.

Carbon monoxide detectors should meet Underwriters Laboratories Inc. standards, have a long-term warranty, and be easily self-tested and reset to ensure proper functioning. For maximum effectiveness during sleeping hours, carbon monoxide detectors should be placed close to sleeping areas.

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Are some types of detectors better than others?
 H. Brandon Guest and Hamel Volunteer Fire Department

Regardless of the type of sensor used, all carbon monoxide detectors sold on the market today should conform to minimum sensitivity and alarm characteristics. These requirements are defined by Underwriters Laboratories in their standard for residential Single and Multiple Station Carbon Monoxide Alarms: ANSI/UL 2034-02.

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President Urges Americans to be Alert to a Senseless Killer
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

"The message we're putting out is simple," said Jones- Smith. "First, have your home heating system, including your chimney, inspected annually by a qualified technician. Second, install at least one carbon monoxide detector that meets the requirements of Underwriters Laboratories' standard 2034 in the hall outside the bedrooms. This detector will sound an alarm before the carbon monoxide level in your home becomes hazardous."

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Exposing an Invisible Killer
U.S. Fire Administration

What you need to do if your carbon monoxide alarm goes off depends on whether anyone is feeling ill or not.

If no one is feeling ill:

  1. Silence the alarm.

  2. Turn off all appliances and sources of combustion (i.e. furnace and fireplace).
  3. Ventilate the house with fresh air by opening doors and windows.
  4. Call a qualified professional to investigate the source of the possible CO buildup.

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