Why should I get a carbon monoxide alarm?
Carbon monoxide has no taste, smell or colour, making it impossible to detect without an alarm. Installing a carbon monoxide alarm could save your life.
You are particularly at risk from carbon monoxide poisoning while sleeping, and may not be aware of the symptoms until it’s too late. Like any alarm, a carbon monoxide alarm will alert you to high amounts of carbon monoxide gas.
What type should I use?
The Chase & Tyler Foundation recommended the use of audible carbon monoxide alarms that are certified to EN50291 (European standard) or UL2034 (US standard). Always follow the alarm manufacturer’s instructions on placement, testing and replacing the alarm. Note: Australia currently does not have a standard for carbon monoxide alarms.
Where should a CO Alarm be installed?
Every home with at least one fuel-burning appliance/heater, attached garage or fireplace should have a carbon monoxide alarm. If the home has only one carbon monoxide alarm, it should be installed in the main bedroom or outside of the sleeping area. Carbon Monoxide is slightly lighter than air, and distributes evenly throughout a room (dependent on air flow). This means a CO detector can be placed at any height on a wall or ceiling.
- An alarm should be installed on every level of the home and in sleeping areas.
- Place the alarm at least 15 feet away from fuel-burning appliances or near very humid areas such as bathrooms.
- Make sure nothing is covering or obstructing the unit.
- Do not place the unit in dead air spaces or next to a window or door.
- Test the carbon monoxide alarm once a week by pressing the test/reset button.
- Every month, unplug the unit and vacuum with a soft brush attachment or wipe with a clean, dry cloth to remove accumulated dust.
- It is important to refer to your user’s manual for specific installation requirements as to where to install your carbon monoxide detector.
If the alarm sounds?
- Open doors and windows for ventilation, and get fresh air immediately.
- Turn off fuel burning appliance, if safe to do so.
- Call 000 if anyone has suspected carbon monoxide.
Remember, a carbon monoxide alarm is no substitute for correct installation and servicing of your gas appliances. Ensure your appliances are serviced at least once every two years as recommended by Energy Safe Victoria & the Victorian Building Authority.