But even a functioning, properly placed carbon monoxide detector won’t do you much good if you don’t know what to do when it goes off.
To keep your family safe, here are three things you should when you hear your CO Detector sound:
Leave immediately and call the fire department. If your carbon monoxide alarm is sounding, calmly gather your family (don’t forget your pets!) and leave the building. Phone the local fire department and let them inspect your home; if no CO build-up is present, retest your alarm, replacing batteries or the whole unit as needed (CO detectors are typically guaranteed for 5 or 10 years, depending on the model).
Distinct from the obvious sound of a carbon monoxide alarm is the “chirp” your CO detector sometimes makes. The following conditions could cause your carbon monoxide alarm to chirp consistently:
A low-battery condition – A typical CO detector will chirp once every 15 seconds or so to indicate the batteries need replacement.
End of Life Warning – Many models chirp every 30 seconds or so when the unit needs to be replaced; a 30-second chirp interval can also indicate unit malfunction. See your CO detector’s owner’s manual for details.
It’s important to know that your CO detector will not respond to carbon monoxide in this condition, so please address any issues right away!