Where Should I Place the Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors In my Home?

by Matty ByloosSeptember 21, 2016

When It Comes to Smoke and Carbon Monoxide, Don’t Trust Your Nose

Your home is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make, but the value of your home is nothing compared to the value of protecting your loved ones.

House fires can strike quickly and without warning, and if you don’t have a smoke detector to give you an early alert, you may not smell smoke until it’s too late.

Carbon monoxide might not pose much of a threat to your home, but it can be just as deadly as fire to you and your family. What’s more, carbon monoxide is even more difficult to detect without assistance – it’s odorless, colorless, and tasteless, and it can cause dizziness, headaches, and even loss of consciousness, or in some cases, death.

Naturally, you want to protect your family and your home, and installing smoke and carbon monoxide alarms is one of the best ways to do that. But for maximum protection, you’ll need to ensure that your alarms are properly placed. In this article, we’ll tell you how to do just that.

where to place smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

Where Does Carbon Monoxide Come From?

Everybody knows where smoke comes from, but what about CO?

As it turns out, carbon monoxide can come from home appliances that you may already have. It’s the natural byproduct of many types of heaters, including kerosene, propane, and natural gas. So your water heater, your stove, your furnace, and maybe even your HVAC system could be sources of carbon monoxide.

Where to Install Carbon Monoxide Alarms

We’re most vulnerable to the effects of carbon monoxide when we’re sleeping. It’s more difficult to notice the early symptoms when you’re fast asleep. So without a carbon monoxide detector installed in your home, those symptoms may be the only warning you’ll receive.

As you may have guessed, it’s best to install CO detectors near sleeping areas. If bedrooms are situated along a hallway, that’s an ideal location for a CO alarm. But there’s no need to stop there. If you really want peace of mind, install a CO alarm in each bedroom, and one additional on each floor of the home, basement included. The garage is another ideal installation point – cars give off carbon monoxide when running. CO detectors should be installed at waist height. Smoke rises, but carbon monoxide mixes with the air.

where to place smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

Where to Install Smoke Alarms

Smoke alarms are capable of detecting a fire long before you might smell the smoke. For maximum protection, make sure you have at least one smoke alarm on every level of the home, from the basement to the attic. Install additional alarms in bedrooms and hallways.

If it’s been a while since you last purchased a smoke alarm, then you may be interested to know that you can now buy interconnected detectors. When one detects smoke, all the alarms in the home go off. This is especially useful as a smoke alarm in an uninhabited part of the house may go unnoticed by those sleeping upstairs.

Also, there are combination smoke and CO alarms that detect both. They can offer an efficient, cost-effective solution that offers excellent protection and minimizes installation time.

What to Do When the Alarm Sounds

First things first – evacuate the home. Next, call 911 from a safe distance. Wait until emergency personnel give you the “all clear” before returning to your home. It’s better to go through a false alarm than to ignore your alarm system and regret it later. Better safe than sorry!


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About The Author
Matty Byloos
Matty is the Content Marketing Specialist for Homes.com. He's a newly minted homeowner who currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife. When he's not working, he enjoys writing fiction, working on the house, and enjoying the amazing nature that the city has to offer. He is also the founder of NOVEL Creative Agency.

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