Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless, tasteless, and odourless gas that that is produced by the incomplete combustion of fuels such as natural gas, propane, heating oil, gasoline, wood, or other bio-fuels. Examples of these fuel-burning devices include home furnaces, fireplaces, wood stoves, kitchen stoves or grills, gas barbeques, etc. Older and improperly installed gas burning appliances can fill your home with carbon monoxide and can cause flu-like symptoms. Higher doses can cause unconsciousness or death.

If your carbon monoxide detector activates, call 9-1-1 and immediately remove everyone from your house.

Buying Tips

Most hardware stores carry battery operated carbon monoxide detectors. Most detectors have a lifespan of approximately five years but make sure to check your owner’s manual for your detector’s lifespan. Buy a detector that’s certified to the latest Canadian Standards Association (CSA) requirements – it will display the CSA (blue flame) logo. Look for a battery operated unit or a 110-volt plug-in model with a battery backup in case the power fails. For battery-operated units it’s best to change the batteries when you change your smoke detector batteries (when you change your clocks).

Installation Tips

Unlike smoke, which rises to the ceiling, CO mixes with air. Hence CO alarms may be installed at any height. It’s best to locate CO Detectors near sleeping areas to increase the likelihood that sleeping occupants will hear the alarm if it goes off. Don’t install them inside your furnace room, kitchen or within 15 feet of any fuel-burning appliance.

Note: If a combination smoke/CO alarm is being used, it must be installed on or near the ceiling as per manufacturer’s instructions, to ensure that it can detect smoke effectively.