What Should I Do If My CO Detector Goes Off?

Written on: July 18, 2022

Keep your loved ones safe with these tips

carbon monoxide wisconsinDo you have carbon monoxide detectors in your home? If not, you could be placing yourself and everyone else in your home in danger.

Every level of your home, including the basement, and all sleeping areas outside must have carbon monoxide detectors. 

Carbon monoxide detectors should be placed on a wall at least five feet above the ground, since carbon monoxide is lighter than air and might be found with hot, rising air. They can also be installed on the ceiling.

Change the batteries in your CO detectors at the same time that you change the batteries in your smoke detectors, which you should do every time you change the clocks to and from Daylight Savings Time.

CO detectors must be replaced every five years.

Carbon monoxide is often called a “silent killer,” because it is odorless and colorless.

CO replaces the oxygen in your red blood cells. Carbon monoxide starves vital organs like the brain, heart, and lungs of oxygen as it accumulates. This lack of oxygen to your tissues can lead to significant, sometimes irreversible, damage or death.

Carbon monoxide poisoning frequently occurs at night when people are sleeping. Because of that, people can be in danger before they realize anything is wrong.

Know the symptoms of CO poisoning

Those symptoms are usually described as flu-like, with the most common symptoms being: 

Infants, children, the elderly, and people with anemia are particularly prone to CO poisoning. Respiratory problems, chronic heart disease, and anemia are also factors that make people more susceptible to CO poisoning. 

According to the CDC, around 50,000 people visit an emergency room each year for treatment of carbon monoxide poisoning, with 4,000 of them having to be hospitalized. Carbon monoxide poisoning annually kills around 430 people.

Your CO detector has gone off: Now what?

If your carbon monoxide detector has gone off, you need to do four things: 

The CO detector may have malfunctioned if no carbon monoxide buildup is discovered. If this happens, the device must be retested.

Why you should install propane detectors

If you use propane in your home, a propane detector is essential because propane and carbon monoxide are not the same. A propane detector does not detect the presence of carbon monoxide, and vice versa.
Propane gas detectors are affordable and are available at home improvement shops or online.

Install propane detectors near your propane appliances, such as your propane water heater or heating system, near your propane range in the kitchen, or next to your propane fireplace. You should also have propane detectors in rooms where you use propane space heaters and outside all sleeping areas.

Place propane detectors no higher than the pillows on your bed or lower because propane is heavier than air.

Do you have questions about propane safety? Please get in touch with Boehlke Bottled Gas. We’ll be happy to help!