"According to UL Standard 2034, home carbon monoxide
detectors must sound a warning before carbon monoxide levels reach 100
parts per million over 90 minutes, 200 parts per million over 35 minutes
or 400 parts per million over 15 minutes. The standard requires the
alarm must sound before an average, heathy adult begins to experience
symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. The warning provides time to
evacuate the premises."
PLACEMENT OF CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS IMPORTANT
Proper placement of a carbon monoxide detector is important. If you are
installing only one carbon monoxide detector, the Consumer Product
Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends it be located near the sleeping
area, where it can wake you if you are asleep. Additional detectors on
every level and in every bedroom of a home provides extra protection.
Homeowners should remember not to install carbon monoxide detectors
directly above or beside fuel-burning appliances, as appliances may emit
a small amount of carbon monoxide upon start-up. A detector should not
be placed within fifteen feet of heating or cooking appliances or in or
near very humid areas such as bathrooms.
When considering where to place a carbon monoxide detector, keep in mind
that although carbon monoxide is roughly the same weight as air (carbon
monoxide's specific gravity is 0.9657, as stated by the EPA; the
National Resource Council lists the specific gravity of air as one), it
may be contained in warm air coming from combustion appliances such as
home heating equipment. If this is the case, carbon monoxide will rise
with the warmer air.
For this reason, the makers of First Alert (R), the leading brand in
carbon monoxide detector technology, suggests mounting the detector on
the ceiling. This also puts the detector out of the way of potential
interference, such as pets or curious children.
A FIRST ALERT (R) PRESS RELEASE FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT : The
Carbon Monoxide Information Center - Sponsored by First Alert - (312)
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR ALARMS
Carbon monoxide is a by-product of combustion, present whenever fuel is
burned. It is produced by common household appliances such as gas or oil
furnaces, clothes dryers, water heaters, ovens and ranges. A charcoal
grill operating in an enclosed area, a fire burning in a fireplace or a
car running in an attached garage also produce carbon monoxide.
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA),
carbon monoxide is the number one cause of poisoning deaths in the
U.S.A. Making sure furnaces and other potential carbon monoxide sources
are properly vented and in good working condition, along with owning a
UL listed carbon monoxide detector, could become a matter of life and
But what do you do and who to you call when your carbon monoxide
detector goes into alarm? The manufacturer of First Alert, the leading
brand of carbon monoxide detectors, recommends the following : If the
alarm goes off, turn off appliances, or other sources of combustion at
once. Immediately get fresh air into the premises by opening doors and
windows. Call a qualified technician and have the problem fixed before
restarting appliances. If anyone is experiencing symptoms of carbon
monoxide poisoning: headaches, dizziness, vomiting, call the fire
department and immediately move to a location that has fresh air. Do a
head count to be sure all persons are accounted for. Do not re-enter the
premises until it has been aired out and the problem corrected.
To identify the source/s of carbon monoxide, have a professional check
the following :
Gas or oil furnaces are frequently the source of carbon monoxide leaks.
Measure concentrations of carbon monoxide in flue gases. Check all
connections to flue pipes and venting systems for cracks, gaps, rust,
corrosion or debris. Check the filters and filtering systems for dirt
and blockages. Check the combustion chamber and heat exchanger for
cracks, holes, metal fatigue or corrosion.
Check furnace flame, burners and ignition systems. A predominately
yellow, flat, lazy-looking flame in a natural gas furnace indicates fuel
is not burning efficiently and is thus releasing higher than usual
levels of carbon monoxide. Oil furnaces with a similar problem produce
an 'oil' odor, but remember you can't smell, see or taste carbon
Chimneys and venting systems must be carefully checked for blockages
caused by debris, animal nests, cracks, holes or cave-ins. A blocked
chimney or venting system can force dangerous gases back into your home.
Venting and fan systems on all fuel burning appliances must be inspected
for proper installation to assure carbon monoxide is vented out rather
than in. Don't forget gas water heaters, clothes dryers, space heaters
or wood burning stoves.
Inspect fireplaces for blocked or bent chimneys or flues, soot and
debris or holes in the chimney that could release carbon monoxide
exhaust back into the home.
Stove pilot lights in a closed-up home can be a source of carbon
monoxide build-up if not operating properly because they are not vented
to the outside. Check to be sure they are operating properly.
Fireplace pilot lights can also produce carbon monoxide and should be
Never burn charcoal inside no matter how much you want to recapture
summer and never use your gas stove as a heater. Keep the oven door
closed and use it for cooking only.
Never leave a car running in an attached garage even if the garage door
Taking time to understand the characteristics of carbon monoxide and how
Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (UL) listed carbon monoxide detectors
work could save your life.
According to UL Standard 2034, home carbon monoxide detectors must sound
a warning before carbon monoxide levels reach 100 parts per million over
90 minutes, 200 parts per million over 35 minutes or 400 parts per
million over 15 minutes. The standard requires the alarm must sound
before an average, heathy adult begins to experience symptoms of carbon
monoxide poisoning. The warning provides time to evacuate the premises.
Information provided by FIRST ALERT (R).