Carbon monoxide (CO) detectors, along with smoke alarms and fire extinguishers, are key safety features in your home. You cannot see CO gas; nor can you smell or taste it. Yet this substance can cause severe illness and death. While maintaining your furnace and not letting your car run in the garage can reduce the risk of exposure, carbon monoxide can still be a threat. CO detectors alert you of trouble, so you can get out, but placement is critical to them functioning as they’re intended to. Here’s a look at where carbon monoxide detectors should be placed:
- In every bedroom.
- In each hallway near a sleeping area (one detector at each end of hallways over 40 feet long).
- At least one for every level of your home (at the top of the stairway).
- Near an attached garage.
- The bottom of a stairway leading to a basement.
- In the living area.
- Near the stove or furnace (at least 10 feet away).
How to Mount a Carbon Monoxide Detector
- The alarm should be mounted on the ceiling, at least 6 inches from a wall.
- If mounted on a wall, it should be at least 6 inches below the ceiling.
Where Not to Place a CO AlarmIt’s essential that the alarm is placed so it provides the most accurate readings possible. It should be positioned at least 5 to 15 feet from a fuel-burning appliance, and the unit should not be covered or obstructed in any way. Don’t put a carbon monoxide detector:
- Next to a door or window
- In a dead air space
- Close to a fan, vent, or duct
- In direct sunlight
- Closer than 10 feet from a cooking appliance
How to Mount a CO DetectorHere are some basic instructions for mounting a carbon monoxide alarm, but remember to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer, as each model can differ slightly from another. To install the device:
- Mark the mounting holes on the wall or ceiling, using the device’s mounting bracket as a guide.
- Drill a hole where you placed each mark, using the bit size specified by the manual.
- Insert screw anchors in the drilled holes, making sure they’re flush with the surface.
- Align the mounting bracket with the holes and secure it with the screws provided.
- Insert batteries (if the alarm uses them), or activate the internal battery (if it’s receiving power, an indicator light may flash or the unit may beep).
- Attach the alarm to the mounting bracket, and then test the unit.