Installing carbon monoxide detectors in your home is not enough. You also need to test each carbon monoxide detector regularly, or else you’re running the risk of the detector not working. And what good is that? This is why testing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors is a critical aspect of home safety.
The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a particular threat because it’s not only odourless but is invisible, as well. It can accumulate gradually or quickly and is a major health hazard either way. According to Statistics Canada, CO caused 380 accidental deaths in Canada between 2000 and 2009. The usual cause is faulty combustion, ventilation or exhaust of carbon monoxide and other byproducts of combustion heating systems such as furnaces and boilers. This is why scheduling an annual professional maintenance check of your home’s heating system is essential, not just for efficiency and performance but for protecting your family. Similarly, it’s essential to hire professional, certified HVAC contractors for new system installation.
How Often to Test
Depending on the brand and type of CO detectors are in your home, they may have different testing schedules and procedures. Some models suggest monthly testing while others recommend every three or six months. You should test the CO detector whether it’s battery-operated or hardwired into your home’s electrical system. Peruse the detector’s instructions for testing procedures and frequency, as well as how often you should replace the batteries.
While the procedure may differ from model to model, testing typically involves a few very simple steps:
- Find the “test” button.
- Press the button for a few seconds.
- Wait for the loud beep that tells you the CO detector is working.
- Release the button.
If you don’t hear the beeping noise, replace the batteries, and if you still can’t get the alarm to sound, replace the detector altogether. CO detectors aren’t expensive enough to hedge on replacement if there’s any doubt whatsoever about their operation.
For more information on testing a carbon monoxide detector in your Calgary home, please contact us at Arpi’s Industries.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Calgary, Alberta about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about carbon monoxide detectors and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide.
Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Grzegorz Petrykowski/Shutterstock”