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Beat the Beep

Is your alarm beeping?

Beat the beep and keep your home safe from the harmful and fatal effects of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. If you installed a CO alarm after California Senate Bill 183 went into effect in 2011—which required each home have one—it may be time to install new Kidde CO alarms.

Did you install an alarm in 2011?

Underwriters Laboratories (UL) requires CO alarms come equipped with a feature that alerts users when the alarm’s sensor has reached the end of its lifespan. Kidde-branded CO alarms purchased in 2011 have a 7-year life span and will indicate the need for replacement by sounding an end-of-life warning beep twice every 30 seconds.

Understanding what the beep indicates is essential to keeping your home safe. Once alarms enter end-of-life mode, they no longer can detect CO.

Protect your home with Kidde

Kidde offers a range of CO alarms. View all our CO alarms.

Worry-Free Living Area Plug-in Carbon Monoxide Alarm with Sealed Lithium Battery Backup and Digital Display

WTB

NighthawkTM AC Plug-in Operated Carbon Monoxide Alarm with Digital Display

WTB

Kidde Sealed Lithium Battery Power Carbon Monoxide Alarm

WTB

Replace and relax

CO alarms do not contain any radioactive materials, making them relatively easy and safe to dispose. Follow these steps for getting rid of your old CO alarm.

Step 1

Remove battery and dispose in trash. If it's an alkaline battery, discard it with your normal trash but be careful not to group batteries together when you throw them away. If your CO alarm has a rechargeable battery, make sure you dispose of it according to your local hazardous materials collection schedule.

Step 2

Most CO alarms have a plastic cover or face plate which can be recycled. With a flat-head screwdriver, gently pry the casing away from the body of the alarm. Your alarm may have other recyclable plastic parts.

Step 3

Once you've removed all batteries and recyclable casings, you can discard of the CO alarm with your normal trash.

What you need to know about CO

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DANGERS AND RISKS

You can’t see it, taste it or smell it. But 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
  • 20,000 visit the emergency room
  • 4,000 are hospitalized due to CO poisoning

In addition to the use of CO alarms, a better understanding of CO—including sources, dangers and health risks—can go a long way in preventing many of these deaths and hospitalizations.

CO is produced anytime fuel is burned. Potential sources of CO include the following household items. Heating systems can be particularly dangerous as they are responsible for 65% of CO poisoning deaths from consumer products.

  • Furnaces
  • Water heaters
  • Space heaters
  • Clothes dryers
  • Stoves
  • Fireplaces
  • Portable generators
  • Grills used in an enclosed space
  • Vehicles running in an attached garage

At high concentration levels, CO can be fatal in minutes. When breathed in, CO passes through the lungs and bonds with hemoglobin, displacing the oxygen that cells need to function. Early symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to that of the flu and are often misdiagnosed.

Common CO poisoning symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness

All people are at risk for CO poisoning. Unborn babies, young children, the elderly and people with chronic heart disease, anemia, or respiratory problems are generally more at risk than others.

WHAT IS CARBON MONOXIDE (CO)?

  • CO is a colorless, odorless and tasteless poisonous gas that can be fatal when inhaled
  • CO is often referred to as the "invisible killer"
  • CO inhibits the blood's capacity to carry oxygen
  • CO is produced when fuels such as gasoline, propane, natural gas, oil or wood is burned

WHERE DOES CO COME FROM?

  • Any fuel-burning appliance that is malfunctioning or improperly installed
  • Furnaces, water heaters, space heaters, clothes dryers, stoves, fireplaces and portable generator
  • Grills used in an enclosed space
  • Vehicles running in an attached garage
  • Blocked chimney or flue
  • Cracked or loose furnace exchanger
  • Back-drafting and changes in air pressure

WHAT ARE CO POISONING SYMPTOMS?

Initial symptoms are similar to the flu without a fever and can include dizziness, severe headaches, nausea, sleepiness, fatigue and disorientation.

WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF CO EXPOSURE?

  • Mild Exposure: A slight headache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, flu-like symptoms
  • Medium Exposure: A severe headache, drowsiness, confusion, fast heart rate
  • Extreme Exposure: Convulsions, unconsciousness, brain damage, heart and lung failure followed by death
  • Dizziness

ARE THERE ANY STEPS I CAN TAKE TO PREVENT CO POISONING?

  • The only safe way to detect CO in your home is with a working CO alarm. Equip your home with CO alarms on every level and outside each sleeping area
  • Have your heating system, vents, chimney and flue inspected annually by a qualified technician
  • Install and operate appliances according to the manufacturer's instructions
  • Only purchase appliances that have been approved by a nationally recognized testing laboratory
  • Never use a gas stove to heat the home
  • Never leave a vehicle idling in a closed garage
  • Never use a grill or portable generator in close proximity to your home. CO emitted by these items can seep into your home through vents and doors

DO I NEED A CO ALARM? WHERE SHOULD IT BE INSTALLED?

  • California SB 183 requires all single-family homes with attached garage or a fossil fuel source to install carbon monoxide alarms within the home
  • An alarm should be installed on every level of the home and outside each sleeping areas

SHOULD MY CO ALARM HAVE A DIGITAL DISPLAY? WHAT DOES THE PEAK LEVEL FUNCTION DO?

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.

WHO SHOULD I CALL IF MY CO ALARM GOES OFF?

Get to fresh air and call 911. If you are unable to leave the home, open the doors and windows, and turn off all possible sources of CO while you are waiting for assistance to arrive. Under no circumstance should an alarm be ignored.