Carbon Monoxide Alarm Placement So It Works

Sample Floor Plan Carbon Monoxide Installation Guide
Kidde KN-COPP-B-LPM Battery-Operated Carbon Monoxide Alarm with Digital DisplayThis detector is our favorite due to the digital readout that constantly monitors the air as well as it’s battery power source, thus ensuring proper functionality whether or not there is electricity.

Having the proper carbon monoxide alarm placement is just as important as obtaining the unit itself. Having adequate coverage is equally important. You need it to work when CO2 is present and this article will help guide you through the process.

Carbon monoxide poisoning itself causes the highest amount of accidental poisoning in the developed world. We recommend reading through this article in it’s entirety so you have an overview in mind before starting. You can always reference this page again if you need to refresh yourself. Press Control-D to bookmark.

Home Evaluation for Carbon Monoxide Alarm Placement

Answering the following questions will help you assess how many units you need as well as where to place them.

How Many Carbon Monoxide Detectors Do I Need?

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  1. How many bedrooms do I have?
    • Units should be installed within 15 feet of every bedroom door. If 3 bedroom doors in a corridor are 30 feet apart or less, then one detector can be placed in the center of doorways in the corridor.
  2. How many floors are in my home?
    • Carbon monoxide detectors should be placed on every level of your home. CO2 gasses can accumulate on a single level of your home and not be detected upstairs. Alternatively, carbon monoxide can build up in the basement but not be present in the kitchen. So when a family member goes to the basement, they could receive a poisonous dose of CO2.
  3. Does my home have an attached garage?
    • A CO2 detector should be placed within 10 feet from an entrance leading from the garage
    • In multi story dwellings, a carbon monoxide alarm should be placed in any room that sits atop the garage.
Sample Floor Plan Carbon Monoxide Installation Guide

The areas shown in red would not be suitable for installing a CO2 alarm.
A minimum of 15 feet should be maintained between kitchen appliances and a CO2 detector to avoid false alarms and readings.
Units should not be installed near doors or windows leading to the outside. If its drafty, the unit may not provide an accurate reading.
CO2 alarms should be kept away from sources of heat and humidity, such as bathrooms and laundry rooms.

Areas shown in green are optimal for Carbon Monoxide Detector Placement.

Carbon Monoxide Detector Placement Locations

  1. Install at least two feet below the ceiling.
    • While CO2 is lighter than air and will float towards the ceiling, there are certain conditions that tend to occur when carbon monoxide is present which in itself may render the unit unable to detect the gas. Typically when a given appliance is emitting CO2, such as an oven or a stove it is usually due to it not adequately burning its fuel. Since these appliances generate heat, they create a layer of hot air that can collect near the ceiling and interfere with the ability of your carbon monoxide alarm to detect gas.
  2. CO2 alarms with digital displays
    • For ease of reading, these should be installed at eye level and checked frequently

Areas not to install a CO2 detector.

  1. You should not install your detector within 15 feet of any fuel burning appliances such as:
    • Furnace.
    • Oven or stove.
    • Fireplace.
  2. Carbon monoxide detectors are affected by humidity and temperature variances. It’s important to avoid installing them in:
    • Bathrooms.
    • Near any appliances that emit heat.
    • Direct sunlight
  3. Other locations you should not place a carbon monoxide alarm:
    • Within reach of children.
    • Near doors, windows, or any opening where a strong draft is possible.
    • Anywhere that may obstructs carbon monoxide from reaching the detector such as the back of curtains, blinds or an open door.