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How to Test Your Carbon Monoxide Detector

Carbon monoxide detector

Each year, more than 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning not linked to fires, more than 20,000 visit the emergency room, and more than 4,000 are hospitalized.

Before you crank the heat this winter, be sure you have installed and tested a carbon monoxide detector to prevent tragedy.

carbon monoxide detector

How to Install a Detector:

  • Install a battery-operated or battery back-up CO detector in your home and check or replace the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall.
  • Place your detector where it will wake you up if it alarms, such as outside your bedroom.
  • Consider buying a detector with a digital readout. This detector can tell you the highest level of CO concentration in your home in addition to alarming.
  • Replace your CO detector every five years.

Different Types of Detectors

There are several types of carbon monoxide detectors available for purchase. While they all have varying levels of sophistication, all models will alert you if dangerous levels of carbon monoxide accumulate.

  • Dual-function: Some carbon monoxide detectors also have smoke detectors or other gas sensors built-in.
  • Digital: These devices have a digital screen to show you levels of carbon monoxide in your home.
  • Smart: Smart carbon monoxide alarms are the most advanced option available. They do their own diagnostics to make sure they’re working properly and sync with home automation apps so you can monitor your home from afar.
  • Hardwired: Instead of using batteries, these carbon monoxide detectors are wired into your home’s electrical grid. Unless the power goes out, you won’t have to worry about devices losing battery and failing to work.
  • Battery-operated: This type is as basic as they come. Battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors may or may not have a digital screen. You’ll need to check your batteries once every three months to ensure your detectors are working properly.

How to Test a Detector

It’s a good idea to test your CO detector monthly. Start by pressing the “test” button to ensure the siren works. If your detector is older, you may have to purchase a carbon monoxide test kit to ensure that it’s fully functional. If the detector doesn’t go off when you test it, it’s probably time to buy a new one.

The correct installation and placement of carbon monoxide detectors is crucial to ensuring that you and your family stay alerted to — and protected from — this hazard. Talk to your One Hour Heating technician to check your carbon monoxide detectors for battery life and functionality. Even if we didn’t install or place your carbon monoxide detectors, we will ensure they are keeping you safe.

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