If you have any fossil fuel burning heaters or appliances, fireplace, or attached garage, you must have a Carbon Monoxide (CO) detector/alarm by most local & state codes. So let's talk about the proper placement and installation of your CO detectors.
CO detectors can be purchased from most home improvement stores. Some are battery powered and some are electric with battery backup. You may have a choice of stand alone CO detectors or combination smoke/CO detector. When choosing a combination unit, the alarms must be distinguishable. As dictated by the fire code, you may only "need" a minimum number of detectors in your home. But in this case, a little redundancy can be a great thing. Think more, not less.
Installation locations will vary by manufacturer due to the degree of research conducted on that specific type and style of detector. Read and clearly understand the instructions specific to your unit. They are not all the same.
These are some general guidelines common to most manufacturers:
· Alarms should be placed on every level of your home, including the basement, and near or over any attached garage.
· They should be located within 10-15 feet outside of each separate sleeping area.
· Detectors can be placed on the wall or the ceiling as specified in the installation instructions.
· Do not install detectors within 15-20 feet of any furnace or fuel burning heat source.
· Detectors should not be placed in or near humid areas, such as bathrooms.
· Place alarms in areas where they will not be damaged by children or pets.
· Do not install alarms in direct sunlight or areas subjected to temperature extremes
· They should not be installed behind curtains or other obstructions.
· Alarms may not function as designed if installed near ceiling fans, heat vents, air conditioners, fresh air returns, or open windows.
· Life expectancy for detectors will be specific to each manufacturer's recommendations. Carbon monoxide detectors actually have an expiration date, so check with the manufacturer instructions to determine how long the carbon monoxide detector is supposed to last and maintain your specific unit accordingly.