Sure, safeguarding your home and family from a threat that you can’t see, smell or taste may sound like a tall order. But if you know the risks and choose the right products, it’s actually pretty easy. That’s where Kidde comes in. Take a look around for information, helpful tips and solutions – everything you need to arm yourself against a silent killer.
Carbon monoxide alarms monitor your home 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and are designed to provide accurate readings for the life of the alarm. But they don’t last forever. When your alarm nears its end of life, it will let you know by beeping 2 times every 30 seconds. Knowing how to identify these sounds and what they mean is essential to keeping your home safe.
Kidde Help Center: Find out if your beeping alarm is in end-of-life.
In 2009, Underwriters Laboratories (UL), began requiring an end-of-life warning to alert homeowners when their CO alarm has reached the end of its useful life.
As an industry leader committed to safety, Kidde has included this feature in all of its CO alarms since 2001. Kidde CO alarms have a proven life of seven to ten years, depending on the model type.
As of 2013, ALL Kidde CO Alarms have a 10 Year life, with the following exceptions.
Model KN-COEG-3 (900-0113), KN-COPE-I (900-0232) and KN-COPP-3 (900-0099)
Important Note! CO alarms do not detect the presence of CO when in end-of-life mode.
*Models equipped with end-of-life hush feature can be temporarily silenced for 3-day intervals for a total of 30 days.
Where do I go to recharge my fire extinguisher?
Carbon monoxide (CO) is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in America. According to the Centers for Disease Control, each year, more than 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning, more than 20,000 visit the emergency room and more than 4,000 are hospitalized due to CO poisoning.
In addition to the use of CO alarms, a better understanding of carbon monoxide, including its sources, dangers and health risks, can go a long way in preventing many of these deaths and hospitalizations.
CO is produced anytime a fuel is burned. Potential sources include gas or oil furnaces, water heaters, space heaters, clothes dryers, barbecue grills, fireplaces, wood-burning stoves, gas ovens, generators, and car exhaust fumes.
CO poisoning is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in America. (Centers for Disease Control)
More than two-thirds of Americans use gas, wood, kerosene or another fuel as their home's major heat source.
65% of CO poisoning deaths from consumer products are due to heating systems.
Only 50% of homes in America have carbon monoxide alarms, according to industry surveys.
An idling vehicle in an attached garage, even with the garage door opened, can produce concentrated amounts of CO that can enter your home through the garage door or nearby windows.
Portable generators were involved in the majority of carbon monoxide deaths involving engine-driven tools from 1999 through 2012. (CPSC)
A poorly maintained gas stove can give off twice the amount of CO than one that is in good working order.
Install at least one battery-powered CO alarm or AC-powered unit with battery backup on each level of your home and near sleeping areas.
Do not use charcoal or gas grills inside or operate outdoors near a window where CO fumes could seep in.
Check all carbon monoxide alarms in your home. Do they use the most accurate sensing technology? Do they need new batteries?
Replace CO alarms every five to seven years to benefit from the latest technology upgrades.
Have a licensed professional inspect heating systems and other fuel-burning appliances annually.
Install fuel-burning appliances properly and operate them according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Keep chimneys clear of animal nests, leaves and residue to ensure proper venting. Have all fireplaces cleaned and inspected annually.
Do not block or seal shut the exhaust flues or ducts used by water heaters, ranges and clothes dryers.
Do not leave your car running in an attached garage or carport.
Do not use ovens or stoves to heat your home.
So you know that carbon monoxide is bad for you – and can even be fatal – but what exactly does it mean for your health? The facts below should help answer some of your questions, including CO health issues related to young children, pregnant women and the elderly.
At high concentration levels, carbon monoxide can be fatal in minutes. CO rapidly accumulates in the blood and is attracted to the hemoglobin in your bloodstream. When breathed in, CO passes through the lungs and bonds with hemoglobin, displacing the oxygen that cells need to function.
Carbon monoxide does not discriminate; everyone is at risk.
Early symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to the flu and are often misdiagnosed. Headaches, nausea, fatigue, and dizziness are all non-specific symptoms of CO poisoning.
The combined medical cost of CO accidents, lost productivity and lost wages amounts to $8.8 billion a year. Equipping every home with two CO alarms would cut that cost by 93%. (Carbon Monoxide Health and Safety Association)
According to the Mayo Clinic, 51% of all poisoning cases reported involve children six years old and under.
In 1999, nearly 2,200 children under the age of six were accidentally poisoned by CO. (American Association of Poison Control Centers)
A pregnant woman may be affected by CO exposure in the same way as a non-pregnant woman; additionally, the contaminated blood/gas compound can be passed on to her unborn child.
25% of the CO poisoning deaths from home-related products in 2001 involved adults 65 years and older. (Consumer Product Safety Commission).
Older adults more frequently have pre-existing health conditions that affect the heart, lungs and circulatory system. The presence of one or more of these conditions lowers a victim's tolerance and increases the risk of a fatal exposure. (CPSC)
Now that you know a little more about the dangers of carbon monoxide, the next logical question is “what can I do to protect my home?” At Kidde, we have more answers to that question than almost anyone. We’re talking about our extensive catalog of carbon monoxide detectors, which you can View here.
Of course, before you go choosing your alarms, it helps to familiarize yourself with technology, features and other factors.
We recommend choosing CO alarms that have the most accurate sensing technology available. CO alarms are designed to alert you when carbon monoxide levels have begun to accumulate over a period of time, and will sound before most people would experience any CO poisoning symptoms. The more accurate the alarm, the greater chance you and your family have of responding appropriately to the problem.
Electrochemical sensor: Alarms with electrochemical sensors are more stable during humidity and temperature changes and resist reacting to common household chemicals that may cause false readings. Kidde's CO alarms include Nighthawk technology, which has been proven to be the world's most accurate CO sensing technology based on claims by major manufacturers.
End-of-life warning: This feature alerts consumers when it's time to replace the alarm. Kidde is the only major manufacturer who tests its CO alarms for long-term reliability, and whose alarms have a built-in end-of-life feature.
UL or CSA Listed: CO alarms should meet the strict third-party standards set by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or Canadian Standards Association (CSA). A UL Listed or CSA Listed label should be printed on the product's packaging. Kidde is the only major manufacturer whose CO alarms currently meet the strict standards set forth by both UL and CSA.
Accuracy: Look for a statement on the package about the alarm's accuracy level. If the CO alarm is UL Listed, then the accuracy statement will have been certified by UL, too.
Battery-Operated: Consumers who live in areas prone to power outages or who own a gas-powered generator should consider a battery-powered CO alarm with a backlit digital display. Battery-powered units offer 24-hour-a-day CO monitoring when power is interrupted. The backlit digital display allows the user to view the CO level in the dark. The alarm can also be placed on a shelf or wall or moved from room to room.
Digital Display: A digital display screen clearly shows the level of CO detected in the home, and updates the reading every 15 seconds.
Peak-Level Memory: This feature records the highest level of CO present. Knowing the CO level in the home can help emergency personnel determine treatment.
Plug-in with Battery Backup: Easy to plug into any electrical socket, these alarms include a 9V battery for protection during short-term power outages.
Voice Warning: This feature clearly announces the threat present in the home, in addition to emitting the traditional alarm beep. It is often a feature of combination smoke/CO alarms.
So you’ve selected the right solutions for your home. Now comes the important part: knowing where to place them and how to properly maintain them. Kidde can help.
Install at least one CO alarm on every floor and in sleeping areas.
Make sure CO alarms are at least 15 feet away from cooking or heating appliances to prevent false alarms.
Don't cover or obstruct the unit. Test the CO alarm monthly.
Replace CO alarms every 7 to 10 years (depending on your model) to benefit from the latest technology upgrades.
Initial symptoms are similar to the flu without a fever and can include dizziness, severe headaches, nausea, sleepiness, fatigue/weakness and disorientation/confusion.
A digital display allows you to see if CO is present and respond before it becomes a dangerous situation.
Peak Level Memory stores the highest recorded reading prior to being reset. This feature enables you to know if there was a reading while you were away from home, and also can help emergency responders determine the best treatment.
Do you know the fire safety laws in your state? You will now.
Some states require carbon monoxide detectors in all homes. Some require both smoke alarms and CO detectors. And a few of them other safety products. No matter where you live or work, it’s important to know the latest fire and CO safety laws and legislation in your state. Knowing the rules can ensure avoidance of any fines or penalties. And more importantly, it can save lives.
Click your state on the map below to learn the latest.