Before I explain where to install Carbon Monoxide detector alarmand show you recommended CO detector alarm locations in your home, let me list a few areas where CO detectors are not required. However, if they are required and you have them installed – make sure to put them on a house maintenance priority list.
The following exemptions are from City of Chicago, Illinois, Carbon Monoxide Detector Alarm Code, and you should check if they also apply in your jurisdiction:
CO detector alarm installation is not required in residential units that do not rely on combustion of fossil fuel for heat, ventilation or hot water
in residential units that are not sufficiently close to any ventilated source of carbon monoxide – exemption doesn’t apply if there’s an attached garage, in which case Carbon Monoxide detector alarm is required
in residential units heated by steam, hot water or electric heat, which are not connected by a duct-work or ventilation shafts to any room containing a fossil fuel-burning boiler or heater
At least one Carbon Monoxide detector alarm installation is required on every floor of the multi-story residence including basement, and within 15 feet from a sleeping area. This is to ensure that its siren can be heard inside that sleeping area, behind the closed doors.
Carbon Monoxide detector alarm installation is required in bedrooms located above an attached garage.
Some jurisdiction might require additional CO detectors installed in every bedroom – check it with your local building and / or fire department.
While choosing Carbon Monoxide detector alarm locations, make sure that CO detector is not closer than 5′ from the cooking or bathing areas and 15′-20′ from all fuel burning appliances. This will prevent or at least minimize possibility of false alarms.
Carbon Monoxide detector alarms equipped with digital display can be placed at eye level. This will allow easy monitoring of the display.
Where to Install Carbon Monoxide Detector Alarm – Not Recommended Locations:
Never place a Carbon Monoxide detector alarm in so called “dead space” (same as for smoke alarms). Dead space is an area that projects 4″ onto the wall and ceiling from the point they’re joint together. Dead space also applies to peaks of vaulted ceiling and gable roofs.
Avoid installing plug-in type carbon monoxide detector alarms in areas easily accessible by children – educate them about hazards of CO poisoning.
Do not use extension cords to supply power to the carbon monoxide detector alarm
Do not place a Carbon Monoxide detector alarm close to the ceiling fan, air supply vents, and doors / windows opening to exterior.
Do not obstruct Carbon Monoxide detector alarm with furniture or curtains
Do not install the alarm in areas where the temperature is below 40°F (4.4° Celsius) or hotter than 100°F (37.8° Celsius).
After you follow this “Carbon Monoxide detector alarm locations / where to install CO detector” guide, there’s one more, extremely important thing to remember – CO detector alarm maintenance.
I'm a retired Illinois home inspector, founder and editor of checkthishouse.com, a blog which attracts around 2 thousand readers daily and is dedicated to answering the many questions of home owners and home buyers.
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