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How to Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors in Your Home

By: Danny Lipford

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a deadly gas that is both odorless and colorless. It is generated as a byproduct of combustion from:

  • Natural gas and propane appliances such as stoves, water heaters, space heaters, and furnaces.
  • Gasoline and diesel engines found on cars, boats, and generators.
  • Wood fireplaces and gas inserts.
  • Fires and other forms of combustion.

Since carbon monoxide is invisible and odorless, the alarm from a CO detector is to only way to know if you are being exposed before it’s too late. CO detectors can be either battery powered or plug directly into a wall outlet. Combination units are also available that contain both smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in a single unit.

How to install carbon monoxide detectors:

  • Install at least one carbon monoxide detector on each level of your home.
  • Put a CO detector in or near each bedroom of your home.
  • Write the date purchased on the back of each alarm.
  • Since carbon monoxide doesn’t rise like smoke, CO detectors can be installed at any height in the room, including being plugged directly into a wall outlet.
  • Write the replacement date replace on each battery and change batteries as needed or every 6 to 12 months.
  • Clean CO detectors yearly by gently vacuuming or blow detectors out with canned air.
  • Replace carbon monoxide detectors every 10 years.



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4 Comments on “How to Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors in Your Home”

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  • Samy Says:
    October 2nd, 2017 at 5:15 pm

    There is confusion as to at what height the alarm should be placed on the wall. Some say it should be placed at the bottom of the wall and some say it should be placed about 12 inches from the ceiling. Would you please give the best advice on this.

  • wireless burglar alarm Says:
    January 24th, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    The best location for carbon monoxide detectors is near bedrooms so that you can be awoken by the sound of the siren when the alarm detects carbon monoxide in your home. Knowing where to properly place your carbon monoxide alarm is crucial. I read once that one should also be careful not to install them less than ten feet away from fuel-burning appliances or stoves but I guess it also depends on the security device you are using.

  • richard caveman Says:
    August 20th, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    was wondering what the best location to hardwire monoxide detectors in my house is

  • Ira @ Carbon Monoxide Detectors Today Says:
    October 12th, 2009 at 1:47 pm

    Great Post! Everyone is aware of the need for a Smoke Detector, but most peole still don’t understand the overwhelming need for a Carbon Monoxide Detector in their home. Keep telling them, it could save lives.

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How to Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors in Your Home