Buying a Carbon Monoxide Alarm

Keep the following things in mind if you purchase a Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarm:
  • Select alarms listed by a qualified, independent testing laboratory.
  • Follow recommendations of NFPA 720 and manufacturer's recommendations for placement in your home.
  • Install CO alarms in a central location outside each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms. Each alarm should be installed on the wall, ceiling, or other location as specified by the manufacturer's instructions that accompany the unit.
  • Call your local fire department's non-emergency telephone number. Tell the operator that you have purchased a CO alarm and ask what number to call if the CO alarm sounds. Clearly post that number by your telephone(s). Make sure everyone in the household knows the difference between the fire emergency and CO emergency numbers (if there is a difference).
  • Test CO alarms at least once a month, following the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Replace CO alarms according to the manufacturer's instructions, usually about every 2 to 5 years.
  • Be aware that battery-powered CO alarms may have unique battery packs designed to last approximately 2 years, compared to batteries used in smoke alarms, which require yearly replacement.