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Safety & Health

Location of Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detectors

Question: I want to add a couple of carbon monoxide detectors in my home. Where is the best place to install them?

Answer: It is best to install carbon monoxide (CO) detectors on the ceiling as CO will rise within the warm air currents in your home, although as CO will be distributed relatively evenly throughout the air in the home a CO detector at any height should provide an adequate alarm. The suggested location is close to or in bedrooms. To avoid false alarms and damaging the detector it is more important to consider where not to install them.

Do not install carbon monoxide detectors:

  • Where there is high humidity such as a laundry room or shower equipped bathroom.
  • Areas in your home that are not heated such as basements, garages, crawlspaces and attics.
  • Where the detector may be exposed to chemicals such as paint or cleaning solvents.
  • Certain hair and deodorant sprays can trigger carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Near areas that normally have levels of carbon monoxide such as vents, flues and chimneys.
  • Within a 6 foot radius of heaters, ranges, ovens and cooktops.
  • Near forced air vents.
  • Keep carbon monoxide detectors 6 feet from the corners of rooms as this is generally an area of low air circulation.

If you are in doubt about installing a CO detector in a specific location in your home, visit your local fire station. The fire department will be more than happy to aid you in the correct placement of your carbon monoxide detectors.