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Why is My CO Detector Chirping?

A few nights ago, we began to hear an intermittent chirp coming from our toddler son’s bedroom.  Terrified that he would wake up, we did what any normal parents would do and went on a (very, very quiet) search throughout the house for the source of the chirping.  Anything was worth not waking up the baby, right?

We took down all the smoke detectors, unplugged the baby monitor, and still we could not figure out where the sound was coming from.  Eventually we thought maybe it was hangers that squeaked in his closet.  Days later, the chirping got louder and more insistent.  Eventually we found that the chirping was coming from our Carbon Monoxide detector due to low battery.

What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon Monoxide is an incredibly dangerous gas due to its potentially fatal effects as well as the fact that it is colorless and odorless.  CO can exist whenever is fuel is burned.  In your home, this means through gas stoves and furnaces.  The trouble comes when the CO builds up to dangerous amounts, which can then lead to Carbon Monoxide poisoning.

How to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning with a CO Detector

One of the easiest way to prevent Carbon Monoxide poisoning in your home is by installing a CO detector with a battery back up.  The batteries should be changed regularly.  In order to help you remember, the CDC recommends changing the batteries whenever you change your clock settings in the fall or in the spring.

However, Carbon Monoxide Detector Manufacturer Kidde, points out that you shouldn’t necessarily stick to just changing the batteries once a year.  “We recommend replacing the batteries in all of your alarms at least once a year, or any time the unit indicates the battery is low.”

CO detectors will usually begin chirping or beeping intermittently when the batteries are low.  However, if you are not familiar with the various alerts of your CO detector, don’t just assume that any signal means low battery.  It is better to be safe than sorry, and get your family outside to fresh air.  Be familiar with the common symptoms of CO poisoning listed here.

Lastly, having your gas appliances, such as your furnace, regularly inspected, is a great way to prevent unintentional build up of carbon monoxide in your home.

Contact FLAME Heating, Cooling, Plumbing, and Electrical to learn more about installing a CO detector in your home, or ensuring that your furnace is running safely.

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