Carbon monoxide detectors

A carbon monoxide detector alerts the occupants of a home with an audible signal in case of abnormal levels of carbon monoxide (CO). An alarm allows occupants to react quickly, prevent carbon monoxide poisoning This hyperlink will open in a new window., and save lives.

All carbon monoxide detectors must meet Canadian standards and display the Underwriters Laboratories of Canada "ULC" logo.

You need to know what to do when a carbon monoxide detector sounds the alarm This hyperlink will open in a new window..

Types of detectors

Ask your fire department This hyperlink will open in a new window. about the type of carbon monoxide detector authorized by municipal regulations.

The battery-operated carbon monoxide detector is the most common such device. Choose models with lithium batteries that last up to 10 years.

The electric carbon monoxide detector comes in two models: the plug-in detector and the permanent detector installed by an electrician.

There are also models of carbon monoxide detectors combined with a smoke detector. These must be installed according to the same recommendations as a smoke detector

Where to install the detectors in the home

All occupants must hear the carbon monoxide detector alarms when they sound. It is recommended that a detector be installed

  • on each floor, including the basement.
  • in the hallway near the bedrooms.
  • in every room where you sleep with the door closed.
  • near the stairs.
  • near the door of a garage attached to the home.
  • in the room above a garage attached to the home.

Avoid installing a carbon monoxide detector

  • in rooms where the temperature exceeds 37.8°C or is below 4.4°C (e.g. in a hunting camp, trailer, etc.).
  • in the kitchen.
  • in damp rooms such as bathrooms.
  • within two metres of any cooking or burning appliance or device such as a fireplace.
  • near an air outlet or inlet such as a ventilation system.
  • in unventilated rooms where chemicals are stored.
  • inside a garage.
  • in a cathedral ceiling.
  • into an outlet operated by a wall switch.

Checking and maintenance

Every month, check your carbon monoxide detector alarms by pressing the test button for a few seconds to hear the beep. If your detectors are connected to a monitoring centre, notify your provider first before testing.

Every year, you should clean the detectors by lightly vacuuming the outside of the casing.

Never paint the detectors.

Use long-life batteries such as lithium batteries and do not use rechargeable batteries unless recommended by the device manufacturer.

Replace the batteries in carbon monoxide detectors when you hear an intermittent beeping sound and when you move into a new home.

Since carbon monoxide detectors have a limited life span, you should replace them according to the manufacturer's recommendations.

Last update: February 23, 2023


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