The Center for Disease Control reports carbon monoxide poisoning sends about 15,000 people to the emergency room and kills 480 people each year. Installing a working carbon monoxide detector in your home can help to detect this poisonous gas and alert you to a leak, allowing you to safely evacuate your family and pets before anyone gets sick. However, a carbon monoxide detector does not last forever. If you have invested in one, you will want to learn when you should replace your detector to help keep your family safe. Here are a few of the questions you may have:

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How Often Should You Replace a Carbon Monoxide Detector?

It is recommended that you replace your carbon monoxide detector at least once every five to seven years. If your carbon monoxide detector has been damaged or is not working when tested, it should be replaced immediately, even if it is sooner than the recommended timeline. This helps to ensure that the carbon monoxide detector features the newest technology available to detect this gas and ensures it is properly functioning.

How Do You Know How Old a Carbon Monoxide Detector Is?

If you are living in a rental home or have just moved into a new home that already has carbon monoxide detectors, you may be unsure how old the detector is. Follow these steps to determine the age of the unit.

  • Unscrew any screws that are holding the cover in place.
  • Lift the cover away.
  • Look for a manufacturing sticker on the inside of the unit. If you do not see one, remove the battery, as sometimes they are underneath the battery.
  • Read the sticker. The sticker will tell you when the unit was made. If it is older than seven years old, it is time to replace it.

If you are unable to see the writing on the sticker or cannot locate the sticker because someone removed it, it is better to be safe than sorry and replace the unit. This gives you peace of mind that your units are not old and that they will properly function.

How Often Should You Test Your Carbon Monoxide Detector? 

It is recommended that you test your carbon monoxide detector once every six months. This is how often you should be testing your smoke detectors as well, so test them at the same time. Usually if you hear your carbon monoxide detector beeping intermittently  it probably means it’s working fine, but if its not beeping there’s a simple way to check it. Just like a smoke detector, a carbon monoxide detector has a button on it that you simply push to test out the unit. If the unit is working, you should hear a beeping noise. This indicates to you that the wiring in your unit works properly, as well the battery and that the sound is still functional. If you do not hear anything when you test the unit, change the batteries. If this does not solve the issue, it is likely time to replace the unit altogether. For more information on carbon monoxide safety, check out our guide here.

Here at Protect America, we can monitor your carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors as part of your home security monitoring package. If you want to keep your home safe from burglars, as well as fires and carbon monoxide, contact us. Fill out this form to receive a free quote today.