Carbon Monoxide Detector Placement is Important for Reducing Risk of Poisoning

Carl Saiontz

By Carl Saiontz
Posted February 20, 2015


Amid the cold winter weather blanketing most of the U.S., it is important for families to protect themselves from the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, which may result in severe injury or death. Having a working and properly placed carbon monoxide detector is the first step.

Carbon monoxide is a toxic, deadly gas that is odorless, colorless and has no irritants detectable by humans. As a result, it is a leading cause of fatal poisonings in the United States, as individuals are often unable to recognize that there is a carbon monoxide leak, resulting in prolonged exposure and a greater risk of permanent brain damage from carbon monoxide.

The source of carbon monoxide leaks can vary widely, including improperly maintained, manufactured or ventilated appliances and heaters, which can raise levels of carbon monoxide without anyone realizing the problem until it is too late.

While most of these causes can be prevented, the proper placement of a carbon monoxide alarm can nearly eliminate the risk that a gas leak results in permanent brain damage or other life-threatening injury.

carbon monoxide poisoning causes
Carbon monoxide detectors are slowly becoming more and more common in homes nationwide, but safety experts indicate that where you place that alarm is just as important as having one.

Carbon monoxide alarms can help warn occupants when gas is present, allowing them to get out of the building before carbon monoxide levels reach toxic levels. However, placing the detector in the wrong place can diminish or negate the effectiveness of these life-saving devices.

The National Fire Protection Association recommends that a CO detector be centrally located outside of each separate sleeping area, such as bedrooms. They should be located on a ceiling or wall and should be in a location where their alarm can easily be heard. Some recommend that the devices be within 15 feet of a bedroom door.

There should be a carbon monoxide detector on every floor of a home or domicile, including basements, since the deadly gas can become trapped on a single floor.

While some recommend that the devices be placed on the wall a few feet below the ceiling, or on the ceiling directly, a number of experts recommend against ceiling placement, since it may delay the gas reaching the device.

In addition to proper placement, consumers need to be aware that there are several places that carbon monoxide detectors should not be placed, such as above gas-powered appliances, heating furnaces or fireplaces, which may result in false alarms. Some experts also recommend against placing detectors in bathrooms, direct sunlight or close to heat-generating appliances of any kind.

It is also important that the alarms be placed out of reach of children and away from places where a strong draft might blow carbon monoxide away, such as near open windows. They should also not be placed behind curtains or other structures that might prevent the gas from getting to the sensors.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Lawyers

In cases where carbon monoxide injuries are caused by a leak that results from the negligence of another person, corporation or entity, financial compensation may be available. For individuals injured in property that is owned and maintained by someone else, liability

The carbon monoxide lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. review potential claims for individuals nationwide who have been hospitalized following carbon monoxide exposure. To review a case for yourself, a friend or family member, request a free consultation and claim evaluation.

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