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Carbon Monoxide Detector Information

Carbon Monoxide is the colorless, odorless, tasteless killer. It can be incredibly toxic to humans and animals in high concentration, which is why over half of the country has adopted Carbon Monoxide laws that mandate detectors be placed in residences.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors are devices that simply detect the presence of Carbon Monoxide gas in order to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. When they began, CO detectors lasted for a maximum of 2 years. Now, most detectors last up to 7 years, at which point they must be replaced. Most CO detectors now also have end-of-life alerts to notify the resident or building manager that they need replacing.

According to the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association), CO detectors must be "centrally located outside of each separate area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms" and each detector "shall be located on the wall, ceiling or other location as specified in the installation instructions that accompany the unit." Because of the density similarity between oxygen and carbon monoxide, detectors can be mounted near the ceiling or the floor; the concentration will be the same.

It's always important to ensure that your home is safe. That's why First Alert created this helpful set of guidelines that all homeowners should go over:

• Have fuel-burning heating equipment and chimneys inspected by a qualified professional every year before cold weather arrives. During the heating season, clear filters and filtering systems of dust and dirt.
• Be sure to open the flue for adequate ventilation when using a fireplace.
• Inspect the pilot lights on natural gas appliances to ensure that the flame is blue. When a flame is mostly yellow in color, it likely is producing CO.
• Clean out the lint and debris that may build up in the clothes dryer vent which leads to the outside of the house.
• Only use generators in a well-ventilated location outdoors away from windows, doors and vent openings.
• Use barbeque grills only outside and never indoors or in the garage.
• Never leave an auto running in a garage, even for a couple of minutes and not even if the overhead garage door is open.
• Install a CO alarm outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement, as recommended by the National Fire Protection Association. Ensure that the alarms are plugged all the way in the outlet or, if battery operated, have working batteries installed. For better protection go a step further and install CO alarms inside each sleeping area.

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