When I considered buying a CO detector, I had some questions as to where it should be placed. For example, is next to the bed, at face level, a good place? I thought the answer would be found in NFPA 720, "Reccommended Practice for the Installation of Household Carbon Monoxide Warning Equipment." I WAS WRONG. After spending $23, here is what the standard told me: (720-22.214.171.124) "Each alarm...should be located...as specified in the installation instructions."
That is one of the reasons that CO detectors aren't in the building code...there is no good standard to reference. The Utah Chapter of ICC submitted it to the ICC conference, but it was rejected for that reason. Utah requires them in homes, however.
As far as elevation goes, CO has a vapor density of 1.0, which is the same as air. This means that it neither sinks nor floats in air. I would say put it anywhere.
Well, I actually went out and bought such a detector. The instructions pretty much say to place tham anywhere you want- they even discuss setting them atop a table. There is quite a list of places NOT to place them....primarily places where either the environment will damage them, or cause false alarms. "Not within 5 ft. of any cooking appliance" for example.
I also found an interesting note: "seven years after the initial power-up, the unit will (signal) it is time to replace the unit. The unit will NOT detect CO inthis condition.
At the FD, seen 'em mounted ceiling (combo units), at head level, chest level. and 16" off the floor (customary outlet level).
We normally tell folks to place them in their sleeping areas, and near, but not next to things that run automatically - like furnaces. Secondary considerations are dryers and stoves. I've seen elevated CO from both of them, but furnaces have the deadliest potential, due to cracked heat exchangers or such.
As has been pointed out height is not really a consideration. Here in MA they are considering bringing legislation requiring CO detectors in all residences. As usual it only took the death of a ten year old girl for anyone to think of this. This death also brought about the dangers of dirct vent heating systems. In this case after a recent blizzard a direct vent was burried under the snow which of course caused CO to back up into the house.
I also found an interesting note: "seven years after the initial power-up, the unit will (signal) it is time to replace the unit. The unit will NOT detect CO in this condition.
That's rather un-usual, I can't see why they only have a "life" of 7 years. How much do one of these detectors usually cost?. As far as placement goes, I'd want the thing as close to the bed as possible.
In case you have the inkling to purchase another NFPA publication, it appears that my membership dues are providing free access to all NFPA publications. Go to the www.nfpa.org website. Choose the Codes and Standards pulldown, choose document list and code cycle information, find the code you want, then toward the bottom, choose preview this document. It gives a full view of the entire thing. Thanks for contributing your $23
[This message has been edited by Ron (edited 08-18-2005).]
Trumpy, the basic detector sells for about $25, whether it be a battery powered or plug-in type. Fancier ones, with features such as a continuous LED read-out, can cost as much as $80
Many products are offered that have both a Co detector and a smoke detector in the same housing. These typically sell for about $50.
The sensing element of these detectors is, I am told, somewhat "biologic" in nature, and thus the limited life. Some models have sensing cartridges that you replace, rather than the entire unit. BTW, these units also alarm when they freeze.