Carbon monoxide fact sheet

Where should the detector be installed?
CO gases distribute evenly and fairly quickly throughout the house; therefore, a CO detector should be installed on the wall or ceiling in sleeping area/s but outside individual bedrooms to alert occupants who are sleeping.

What if you have symptoms of CO poisoning?
If you think you are experiencing any of the symptoms of CO poisoning, get fresh air immediately. Open windows and doors for more ventilation, turn off any combustion appliances, and leave the house. Call your fire department and report your symptoms. You could lose consciousness and die if you do nothing. It is also important to contact a doctor immediately for a proper diagnosis. Tell your doctor that you suspect CO poisoning is causing your problems. Prompt medical attention is important if you are experiencing any symptoms of CO poisoning when you are operating fuel-burning appliances. Before turning your fuel-burning appliances back on, make sure a qualified serviceperson checks them for malfunction.

CO DETECTOR REQUIREMENTS IN THE U.S.

On September 15, 1993, Chicago, Illinois became one of the first cities in the nation to adopt an ordinance requiring, effective October 1, 1994, the installation of CO detectors/alarms in all new single-family homes and in existing single-family residences that have new oil or gas furnaces. Several other cities also require CO detectors/alarms in apartment buildings and single-family dwellings.

CO detectors/alarms are also available for boats and recreational vehicles and should be used. The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association requires CO detectors/alarms in motor homes and in towable recreational vehicles that have a generator or are prepped for a generator.

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