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Choosing the best Carbon Monoxide Alarm
What is carbon monoxide? How can carbon monoxide poisoning be prevented? Protecting yourself is simple.

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.

How to Choose a Carbon Monoxide Alarm
Because a safe home is the only option, we offer plenty of choices.

What can you do to protect your home? See our catalog of carbon monoxide detectors.

Of course, before you choose your alarms, it helps to familiarise yourself with technology, features and other factors.

Things to look for in an alarm

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.

Below are key factors to look for when purchasing a CO alarm.

  • 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.
  • End-of-life warning: This feature alerts you when it's time to replace the alarm. Kidde tests its CO alarms for long-term reliability, and our alarms have a built-in end-of-life feature.
  • Certified to British Standard: Before purchasing a CO alarm, always ensure it complies with British Standard EN 50291 and carries a British or European approval mark, such as a Kitemark. Standards for the performance of CO alarms have become more stringent over recent years and so older alarms may not react as quickly as newer alarms.

Also, be sure to consider these major features:

  • 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.
Placement and Maintenance

Once you have purchased your CO alarms, you need to know 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 weekly.
  • Replace CO alarms every 7 to 10 years (depending on your model) to benefit from the latest technology upgrades.
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