Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Are Yours in Working Order?

November 8, 2016

It can be startling to realize a carbon monoxide detector can make a life-or-death difference for people and pets in your home. It is therefore critical that your carbon monoxide detectors are in working order.

Why Carbon Monoxide Detectors are Important

It is no exaggeration to say that carbon monoxide (CO) is deadly. It is an odorless, tasteless, colorless gas that can't be detected by human senses. Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause serious health effects in small doses, and in larger amounts, it can kill. Most carbon monoxide deaths occur when CO leaks into a home and people are exposed to it in their sleep.

Carbon monoxide detectors provide a way to tell if CO is present inside your home. The alarm of a CO detector can literally mean life or death as it gives you and your family time to get to safety and call for help.

Carbon Monoxide Detector Tests

Remember that, at a minimum, carbon monoxide detectors should be placed outside each bedroom and at each end of each floor of your home.

  • Look the unit over: Give the unit a visual inspection to make sure it is clean and free from damage. All parts should be present, including the cover. The detector should be firmly attached to the wall or ceiling.
  • Test the unit: The CO detector should have a test button on its face. Press this button until the alarm sounds. If the alarm doesn't go off after a few seconds, put new batteries in and try again. Failure of the alarm at this point means you'll need to replace the unit.
  • Change the batteries: It's a good idea to put in fresh batteries at the beginning of heating season even if the detector passed the alarm test. This helps prevent battery failure in the middle of winter when you most need the detector to work correctly.

Lozier Heating and Cooling has more than a century's worth of experience providing HVAC services in Des Moines and neighboring communities. Contact us today for more information on carbon monoxide detectors and how to keep yours working properly.