Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Although most homes now have smoke detectors as standard equipment, another detector can be equally as important when it comes to saving your life in an emergency situation.

Carbon monoxide detectors are small, widely available devices designed to detect higher than acceptable levels of carbon monoxide in your home. However, they are not generally considered to be as reliable as smoke detectors, so you need to use these detectors as a backup against carbon monoxide poisoning. Your first line of defense needs to be proper use and maintenance of your fuel-burning appliances.

Some carbon monoxide detectors have been laboratory-tested, and their performance varied. Some performed well, others failed to sound an alarm even at very high levels, and still others sounded an alarm even at very low levels. If  you purchase a carbon monoxide detector, you need to select a model based on information available from groups such as the Consumers Union, the American Gas Association and Underwriters Laboratories. Look for UL certification on any detector you purchase.

Carefully follow manufacturers' instructions for the placement, use, and maintenance of the carbon monoxide detector.

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