Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, Is Your Home Safe? (cont.)
8. What should you do when the CO detector/alarm sounds?
Never ignore an
alarming CO detector/alarm. If the detector/alarm sounds:
- Operate the reset
- Call your emergency services (fire department or 911).
- Immediately move
to fresh air -- outdoors or by an open door/window.
9. How should a consumer test a
CO detector/alarm to make sure it is working?
Consumers should follow the manufacturer's instructions. Using a test button,
some detectors/alarms test whether the circuitry as well as the sensor which
senses CO is working, while the test button on other detectors only tests
whether the circuitry is working. For those units which test the circuitry only,
some manufacturers sell separate test kits to help the consumer test the CO
sensor inside the alarm.
10. What is the role of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety
Commission (CPSC) in preventing CO poisoning?
CPSC worked closely with Underwriters Laboratories (UL) to help develop the
safety standard (UL 2034) for CO detectors/alarms. CPSC helps promote carbon
monoxide safety awareness to raise awareness of CO hazards and the need for
regular maintenance of fuel-burning appliances. CPSC recommends that every home
have a CO detector/alarm that meets the requirements of the most recent UL
standard 2034 or the IAS 6-96 standard in the hallway near every separate
sleeping area. CPSC also works with industry to develop voluntary and mandatory
standards for fuel-burning appliances.
11. Do some cities require that CO
detectors/alarms be installed?
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.
12. Should CO detectors/alarms be
used in motor homes and other recreational vehicles?
CO detectors/alarms are 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.
Some of the above information has been provided with the kind permission
of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Document #466 (www.cpsc.gov).
Last Editorial Review: 11/25/2002