Portable Generator with Carbon Monoxide Sensors Problems

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Portable Generator with Carbon Monoxide Sensors Problems

Doc explains why carbon monoxide sensors ON the generator might not be the smartest idea being pushed right now. While it might seem like a good liability protection for the manufacturers, it may not be the smartest way to approach the problem.  These CO sensors often give a false sense of security to those that think they will shut of the unit when carbon monoxide enters the home. They won’t. Instead the sensors only detect CO around the running unit.  

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Carbon monoxide (CO) sensors are crucial for detecting and alerting you to the presence of this odorless, colorless, and potentially deadly gas. Proper placement of CO sensors is essential to ensure their effectiveness. Here are some guidelines for where to place carbon monoxide sensors:

  1. Near Sleeping Areas: Install at least one CO sensor near sleeping areas to quickly alert occupants if there’s a CO leak while they are asleep.
  2. On Each Floor: Place a sensor on every level of your home, including the basement. CO can accumulate anywhere, so having sensors on each floor helps ensure comprehensive coverage.
  3. Near Combustion Appliances: Install CO sensors close to fuel-burning appliances, such as furnaces, water heaters, stoves, and fireplaces. This helps detect leaks right at the source.
  4. In or Near Garages: If your garage is attached to your home or has an adjoining wall, place a CO sensor there. Cars emit CO, and if there’s a leak from the garage into the home, the sensor can detect it.
  5. Away from Obstructions: Avoid placing sensors behind curtains, furniture, or any other obstructions that could hinder airflow and prevent the gas from reaching the sensor.
  6. At Eye Level: Install CO sensors at eye level or slightly lower, as CO is roughly the same density as air and distributes evenly in a room.
  7. Not Too Close to Windows or Vents: CO can dissipate quickly near windows and vents, so avoid placing sensors too close to these areas.
  8. Follow Manufacturer Guidelines: Always refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for recommended placement. Different sensor models may have specific requirements.
  9. Avoid Humid Areas: Keep CO sensors away from excessively humid areas, such as bathrooms, as humidity can affect their accuracy.
  10. Regular Maintenance: Ensure your CO sensors are regularly maintained, including changing batteries and testing their functionality according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  11. Read Building Codes: Depending on your location, there might be building codes or regulations that specify where CO sensors should be placed. Make sure to adhere to these codes.
  12. Interconnected Sensors: If possible, use interconnected CO sensors. This means that if one sensor detects CO, all sensors in your home will sound an alarm. This provides faster and more comprehensive coverage.
  13. Consult Professionals: If you’re unsure about the best placement for CO sensors, consider consulting professionals like HVAC technicians or firefighters who are well-versed in home safety.

Remember that the effectiveness of CO sensors depends on their proper placement. Regularly check and test your sensors to ensure they are functioning correctly and providing the protection you and your family need.

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