Stupid question about CO detectors

Stupid question about CO detectors. I have a few realtors that are fighting me about if the CO2 detector should be permanently installed or if they can just use the ones that plug into the wall.
I just want to make sure sure I was telling them the right thing :cool:

Why are you worried about carbon dioxide, beer been a little flat lately? :wink:

When I report on the lack of carbon monoxide (CO) detectors I just recommend installing. To me it doesn’t matter if it’s hardwired or a plug in system and I don’t know of any requirements for one or the other.

There is no requirement in the IRC for a CO monitor. Some local ordinances require it, but it’s not a national thing.

House builders in Colorado are required to install carbon monoxide detectors in new homes in a bill signed into law in March 2009 by the state legislature.
House Bill 1091 requires installation of the detectors in new and resold homes near bedrooms as well as rented apartments and homes. It took effect on July 1, 2009. The legislation was introduced after the death of Denver investment banker Parker Lofgren and his family. Lofgren, 39; his wife Caroline, 42; and their children, Owen, 10, and Sophie, 8, were found dead in a multimillion-dollar home near Aspen, Colorado on Nov. 27, 2008, victims of carbon-monoxide poisoning.
In New York State, Amanda’s Law,” (A6093A/C.367) requires one- and two-family residences which have fuel burning appliances to have at least one carbon monoxide alarm installed on the lowest story having a sleeping area, effective since February 22, 2010. Although homes built before Jan. 1, 2008 are allowed to have battery-powered alarms, homes built after that date need to have hard-wired alarms. In addition, New York State contractors have to install a carbon monoxide detector when replacing a fuel burning water heater or furnace if the home is without an alarm. The law is named for Amanda Hansen, a teenager who died from carbon monoxide poisoning from a defective boiler while at a sleepover at a friend’s house.
In July 2011, California will require installation of carbon monoxide detectors in existing single-family homes, with multifamily homes following in 2013.

CO detectors are required in MN and WI

Illinois has required them since January 1, 2007. Doesn’t matter if hard wired or plug ins, as long as they are within 15 feet of sleeping areas.

In these states that require CO detectors, I am wondering at what PPM of CO do they require that they actually go off? Most of the ones I see produce an alarm at 60 - 70 ppm after 1 - 4 hrs. I consdier these UL approved CO detectors to be almost useless.


A Precise Home Inspections in Colorado Springs has a nice article about the placement of the detectors.

Thanks Lance!

Interesting article. My question is if carbon monoxide is lighter than air and tends to rise what difference would that make? If the furnace is running and forcing air into various room and that air is also being drawn into the returns, wouldn’t that circulate the carbon monoxide too?

“High or low in a room; It makes no difference where you put the detector
– but not because carbon monoxide and air have approximately the same
density. Both are gases and as a result, diffusion alone and the entropy
effect will take care of mixing them. Any convection currents and/or
forced-air turbulence present will also enable the gases to mix and affect
the detector.”

WOW major typo… That why I should not post at 5AM

It should be within six inches of the ceiling corner.

Is that a Chicago thing? Certainly not a manufactures instruction.

How should I install a CO Alarm?

CO alarms should be installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions. CPSC recommends that one CO alarm be installed in the hallway outside the bedrooms in each separate sleeping area of the home. CO alarms may be installed into a plug-in receptacle or high on the wall. Hard wired or plug-in CO alarms should have battery backup. Avoid locations that are near heating vents or that can be covered by furniture or draperies. CPSC does not recommend installing CO alarms in kitchens or above fuel-burning appliances.

Eh ,on second thought might be thinking smoke but they are often combination units.
Will check more in a bit.
CO Headquarters
Carbon Monoxide Detectors Can Save Lives
The “Invisible” Killer
Carbon Monoxide Questions & Answers
Protect Your Family & Yourself

Carbon Monoxide Checklist

Product Recalls (CPSC)

Find Recalled Products by Product Type
Find Recalled Products by Company Name

Carbon Monoxide and furnaces

smoke’s are to be with in 12" of the wall or ceiling

See how you are I have 6 inches saved somewhere and NFPA site says 4 inches.
I was correct that I was mixing smoke and C/O,because with the former you need to follow manufacturers instructions.
How was your seminar today Jeff?
SmokeAlarmsSafetyTips.pdf (175 KB)

Strange the C/O, PDF is over forum limit at one page like the other one and does not zip small enough.

KKK CO alarms should be installed in a central location outside
each sleeping area and on every level of the home and in
other locations where required by applicable laws, codes or
standards. For the best protection, interconnect all CO alarms
throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
KKK Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for placement and
mounting height.

KKK Choose a CO alarm that has the label of a recognized testing
KKK Call your local fire department’s non-emergency number to
find out what number to call if the CO alarm sounds.
KKK Test CO alarms at least once a month; replace them according
to the manufacturer’s instructions.
KKK If the audible trouble signal sounds, check for low batteries.
If the battery is low, replace it. If it still sounds, call the fire
KKK If the CO alarm sounds, immediately move to a fresh air
location outdoors or by an open window or door. Make sure
everyone inside the home is accounted for. Call for help from
a fresh air location and stay there until emergency personnel.
KKK If you need to warm a vehicle, remove it from the garage
immediately after starting it. Do not run a vehicle or other
fueled engine or motor indoors, even if garage doors are
open. Make sure the exhaust pipe of a running vehicle is not
covered with snow.
KKK During and after a snowstorm, make sure vents for the dryer,
furnace, stove, and fireplace are clear of snow build-up.
KKK A generator should be used in a well-ventilated location
outdoors away from windows, doors and vent openings.
KKK Gas or charcoal grills can produce CO — only use outside

California requirement for CO detectors now as well. We are in a limbo period as of right now, but they are a requirement.

I’m sure most of us have been recommending CO detectors for some time.

California is just weird.