While homeowners have had more than 25 years to learn and appreciate the life-saving benefits of working smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms are a relatively new addition.
Like smoke alarms, replacing old CO alarms is also important. Over time, dust and cooking smoke can obstruct sensors, potentially affecting their performance.
“When you do the math, a homeowner can save about $40 during the 10-year lifespan of their alarm by replacing an old alarm with a worry-free model that has a sealed lithium battery,” says Carol Heller, a home safety expert with alarm manufacturer Kidde Canada. “Plus, the freedom of never having to change batteries is a real hit with homeowners.”
Here are some important facts to know about carbon monoxide, dubbed the “silent killer” because humans cannot see, smell, or taste the deadly gas.
• Carbon monoxide gas is neither heavier nor lighter than air (it is almost the same density. This means it mixes freely with air circulating in your home.
• Since carbon monoxide mixes with air, it means that a CO alarm can be installed anywhere ( on the ceiling as a part of a combination smoke/CO alarm (battery powered or hardwired); down near floor level (plug-in); or on a bookcase or shelf (battery powered only).
• If you install a plug-in or hardwired model, be sure it also has a battery backup so the alarm will still work during a power outage.