Make Sure You’re Testing the Carbon Monoxide Detectors in Your Ohio Home
You’ve wisely paid attention to recent warnings about the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. You make sure that fuel-burning devices such as the furnace and water heater are professionally maintained every year, and you’ve installed a CO detector on each level of the home. You may not realize that regularly testing carbon monoxide detectors is necessary as well if you want to keep everyone in the household safe from this silent killer.
Why Testing Carbon Monoxide Detectors MattersWithout the warning sound from a properly-functioning CO alarm, a carbon monoxide leak is undetectable. You can’t smell, taste or see this lethal gas in the air. Now that you’ve taken other precautions, testing your CO detectors on a regular basis is vital to ensure they’re working properly and capable of alerting you to rising gas levels.
Make CO Testing Part of Routine MaintenanceMaintaining and testing carbon monoxide detectors properly isn’t a time-consuming or difficult task. The exact process and recommended frequency for testing can differ between CO detector manufacturers, so it’s best to check the owner’s manual for specific instructions on each device you own. As a general maintenance guideline:
- Test the functionality of all plug-in and battery-operated CO detectors in the home every month. Find the “test” button and hold it down for several seconds. If the device is working properly, it will emit a beeping sound.
- If a detector is silent, put in fresh batteries and test it again. If it still doesn’t beep, replace the unit immediately.
- Install new batteries in your home’s CO alarms every six months. So you don’t forget, do so when you change the clocks for daylight savings time each spring and fall.
- Age is a contributing factor in CO detector reliability, so it’s wise to invest in new devices every few years. Many of today’s new models have a built-in alert function to notify you when replacement is necessary.