Home Carbon Monoxide Detector

A home carbon monoxide detector will constantly monitor and notify anyone in the home with an audible alarm if conditions become unsafe.  Every year poisoning deaths are attributed to the odourless and invisible gas carbon monoxide (CO) and it has earned the nickname the silent killer for good reason. 

Since this gas can not be detected by humans by sight or smell it is extremely important to have a safety device installed to protect your family.  It is recommended that every floor of your home have a device installed to ensure that the gas is detected as soon as possible.  In some states in the USA they are required by law so be sure to check with your local authorities. 

The average North American household has several possible sources of CO that we'll discuss in more detail below.  It's important to know that houses with fuel-burning appliances or attached garages are more susceptible to problems associated with carbon monoxide build up at dangerous levels. 

The symptoms associated with CO poisoning are very similar to the flu which can lead to carbon monoxide buildup going undetected.  There are a few things that you can watch for but ultimately, installing a home carbon monoxide detector will detect and prevent and potential hazards down the road for years to come.  

Sources of Carbon Monoxide in the Home

Carbon monoxide is the result of burning fuels and can be created by numerous items inside or near your home.  The gas is produced whenever a fuel burns and can present dangerous levels to your family from any of the following:

  • Furnaces
  • Gas and wood stoves
  • Water heaters
  • Gas and wood fireplaces
  • Clothes dryers
  • Power generators and power tools
  • Motor and lawn vehicles

As part of your overall home safety check it's important to identify potential hazardous areas present in your own home.  It's recommended that a home carbon monoxide detector be placed on every level of your home and it's a good idea to keep them as close as possible to potentially hazardous sources. 

The incident of CO poisoning increases during the winter months when windows are closed more often and fuel burning appliances are used for heat.

Protecting Your Family from CO Poisoning

The first thing you can do is educate yourself on potential hazards in your home and ensure your appliances are in good working order.  This includes proper maintenance, ventilation and servicing by a qualified technician as recommended by the device.  Appliances or devices intended for outdoor use should not be used inside such as: portable stoves, grills or generators.  

You should never use your oven to heat your home or leave you vehicle idling in the garage as these are common causes of CO poisoning. 

The symptoms of poisoning are similar to the common flu and can easily be misdiagnosed.  If you experience any of the following you might be exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide in your home:

  • Mild headache
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue 
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Loss of consciousness (severe case)

If family members or pets that spend a lot of time at home are often sick or if you find that everyone in your house is sick at the same time and you feel better when away from the home you might be exposed to high levels of CO.  

The best thing you can do to protect your family is to install a home carbon monoxide detector on every level of your home.  We have put together a list of the best choices based on quality, reliability and customer feedback. 

Home Carbon Monoxide Detector Options

The best way to prevent overexposure to this harmful gas is to install a home carbon monoxide detector on every floor of your home.  It's a very affordable way to ensure the safety of your family and work in tandem with home smoke detectors as a preventative device. 

  1. Portable Alarms
  2. Hard-Wired Alarms

1.  Portable Carbon Monoxide Detectors

A portable carbon monoxide detector or plug-in unit is a great way to provide safety with the added convenience of being able to place it just about anywhere. They are ideal for locating them near high hazard areas like the kitchen or garage. 

Kidde Nighthawk Plug-in Carbon Monoxide Alarm

The Kidde Nighthawk Carbon Monoxide Alarm can be plugged into any regular household outlet.  It has a battery backup for uninterrupted use during a power outage.

A large digital display provides clear and accurate gas readings and the alarm can be heard from anywhere in the home if hazardous gas levels are reached.  Approved and meets UL and CSA safety standards for the USA and Canada. 

kidde kn-copp-3 nighthawk

Kidde Battery-Operated Carbon Monoxide Alarm

The Kidde Battery Operated Carbon Monoxide Alarm features a large digital display readout and easy to use functions with large buttons. 

This unit operates on batteries only and can be mounted on any wall in your home or garage.  The back plate removes for easy installation and a low battery warning ensures uninterrupted CO monitoring. 

First Alert Dual Power Carbon Monoxide Alarm

The First Alert Dual Power Carbon Monoxide Plug-In Alarm with battery backup and digital display features dual power for continuous protection.

The large digital display and multi-function screen allows for easy monitoring.  The versatility of plug-in or wall mounting makes this a top choice in CO alarms. 

Kidde Battery Operated Combination Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Alarm

The Kidde Battery Operated Dual Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm offers the protection of CO monitoring and smoke detection in one convenient unit. 

This portable unit has a high tech voice warning system that announces the type of hazard detected so you can react quickly and safely in the event of an emergency. 

2.  Hardwired Carbon Monoxide Alarm

If you are in the market for a hardwired unit in addition to a smoke detector there are options available.  This option is ideal in new homes or additions to an existing home with new construction and may require a professional to install. 

Kidde Hardwire Carbon Monoxide Alarm with Battery Backup

The Kidde Hardwire Carbon Monoxide Alarm features a battery backup and quick connect for easy installs.

This unit requires electrical installation and is only recommended for homes under construction or new construction on an existing home.  This unit features an easy to read colour light display and large function button.  The alarm can be heard from anywhere in the house to notify your family in case of an emergency. 

A home carbon monoxide detector is something that every home should have especially if you have a baby or small children who may be more susceptible to the harmful effects.  If the alarm sounds and symptoms or poisoning are present exit the house immediately and call your local fire department or emergency services. 

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