Function of CO Detectors

Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that is produced when fuel is burned incorrectly (this includes furnaces, kerosene heaters, fireplaces and vehicle exhaust). Carbon monoxide can cause poisoning with exposure to levels as low as 40 parts per million.

Detectors are designed to alert you to dangerous levels of CO through an alarm, some have a digital readout or a light. To ensure the highest level of safety for you and your family, Electrician Boca Raton can choose the ideal locations to install your detectors and can handle the installations and routine inspections. 


Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a poisonous, colorless, odorless gas that is produced when fossil fuels burn. It can accumulate to unsafe levels indoors due to improper or careless operation or maintenance of appliances, faulty chimneys or furnaces, or insufficient ventilation. Carbon Monoxide Poisoning affects all ages and can cause long-term health effects including heart problems, brain damage, respiratory depression and even death. Detectors can help reduce the risk of CO poisoning by sensing and alarming when dangerous levels are detected.

CO detectors come in a variety of forms including plug-in, hardwired and battery operated models. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Most units are based on the same sensor technology which uses an electrochemical sensor to measure the amount of CO in the air. The units can be powered by household current or battery and can be interconnected in groups for whole-house protection. Most hardwired CO detectors have backup batteries in case of power outage. Battery-operated units are portable and can be moved from one room to another without the need to rewire them or re-install the batteries.

Regardless of type, all CO detectors must conform to minimum sensitivity and alarm characteristics that are defined and verified by Underwriter’s Laboratory in their standard for residential carbon monoxide detectors UL 2034. Ideally, a residential carbon monoxide detector should be able to alarm within minutes at a concentration of 70 parts per million CO in order to allow first responders to respond to the alert and save lives.

Some units have additional features such as digital readouts of the CO level in ppm, as well as visual indicators for low levels and a loud audible warning when levels reach potentially life-threatening limits. Some units also provide a test button for the user to perform on a regular basis. While these features are useful, data on the frequency of use of these tests by home alarm owners is lacking.

Carbon Monoxide is slightly lighter than air, so it will rise up to the ceiling. This is why detectors are placed on a wall, above the level of fuel-burning appliances. In addition, a good rule of thumb is to place detectors on every level of the house, especially in areas where people spend most of their time.


Carbon Monoxide is a deadly, colorless, odorless gas that can be released into the air when fuel is burned incompletely. It can build up in a house or office building if heaters are not properly vented, and if carbon monoxide poisoning is not promptly treated it can cause death within minutes. CO detectors provide a valuable early warning system by sensing this silent killer.

Detectors come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but all of them have one thing in common – they’re designed to sense carbon monoxide. They’re typically designed with a sensor and an alarm that reacts to the presence of carbon monoxide in the atmosphere. Most detectors have a power indicator light and a test button to ensure they’re functioning correctly. Depending on the model, they may also have a display that shows CO levels or a chirping noise that alerts you to low battery power.

There are four different types of carbon monoxide detectors on the market, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Metal oxide semiconductor sensors, for example, use circuits on a silicon chip that lowers electrical resistance when exposed to CO. This signals the alarm to sound, but they can be sensitive to short bursts of cigarette smoke that can cause false alarms. Electrochemical instant-detection and response (IDR) sensors, which are generally used in professional sensing equipment, are far more accurate than metal oxide sensors, and they’re less prone to false alarms.

Most of the time, a Carbon Monoxide alarm will be due to a heat source that isn’t burning its fuel correctly (motor vehicle exhaust fumes are an exception). This heated air can form a layer near the ceiling which prevents the Carbon Monoxide from reaching a ceiling detector, and it’s for this reason that we suggest mounting CO detectors on walls instead of in the ceiling.

This way, they’ll be out of the reach of curious hands and wagging tails, and they won’t be blocked by furniture or curtains which can restrict airflow and reduce their functionality. The ideal location is in the hallways around sleeping areas, and they should be at chest height where tampering is unlikely.


A carbon monoxide detector alarms when dangerous levels of the gas are detected, alerting people to danger and giving them time to exit the home and call 911. The odorless, tasteless, colorless gas builds up indoors from unvented furnaces, wood stoves, fireplaces and other appliances that burn oil, natural gas or coal. It can also occur from cars, generators, lawnmowers and snow blowers that are improperly vented or run out of fuel. Infants, the elderly and those with respiratory or circulatory problems are especially vulnerable to CO poisoning.

A CO detector is a simple device that contains an electronic microchip, a sensor and an alarm. The silicon chip has a circuit applied to it, and when carbon monoxide enters the detection chamber, the sensor’s resistance changes, which triggers an alarm. Some models include a power indicator light, test button and LCD screen that displays system status and warning levels during an alarm.

Carbon monoxide is slightly lighter than air, so the detector should be placed on a wall at least five feet above the floor, and away from fireplaces and other flame-producing appliances. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for proper placement and follow-up maintenance.

The most common types of carbon monoxide detectors are electrochemical sensors. They consist of a container with two electrodes and connection wires. The other end of the electrode is immersed in an electrolyte, typically sulfuric acid. Carbon monoxide enters the electrolyte and is oxidized to carbon dioxide, while oxygen passes through the other electrode. The current generated by the oxidation of the CO is proportional to the amount of carbon monoxide in the vicinity of the detector.

Generally, all carbon monoxide detectors have an audible alarm, which can be heard throughout the entire house, unlike smoke detectors, which usually only sound in the room of origin. Many system-connected CO detectors can also send a signal to a central station that dispatches emergency services.

The best way to prevent CO poisoning is to have your furnace, boiler and other gas-fueled equipment professionally serviced each year. In addition, you should use a carbon monoxide detector on every level of your home that is used for sleeping. If your home has a basement, you should install a CO detector in that area as well, since dangerous concentrations of the gas can build up in enclosed areas more easily than those on the main living levels.

Emergency Response

Carbon Monoxide Detectors are designed to sound an alarm before dangerous levels of CO accumulate in the environment, giving occupants time to ventilate the space or evacuate. Some system-connected detectors also notify a monitoring service that can alert emergency services.

Carbon monoxide (CO) gas is odorless, tasteless, and colorless, making it extremely difficult to detect without an accurate CO detector. Without a working detector, people may die of CO poisoning without even knowing it.

CO Detectors are important safety devices for homes, businesses and public buildings. They provide early warning that CO may be present, allowing occupants to escape before symptoms such as nausea, headache and loss of consciousness take hold. In addition, a functioning CO detector can prevent the release of deadly CO during a power outage or other emergencies by detecting the presence of fuel-burning appliances that might otherwise remain running after a home or business loses power.

There are many types of CO detectors, each employing a different method for sensing carbon monoxide. The most common type uses an electrochemical sensor that consists of electrodes submerged in an electrically conductive solution (an electrolyte). When carbon monoxide enters the gas-permeable chamber, the chemical reaction causes the current passing through the electrolyte to increase. The specific amount by which the current increases tells the detector how much carbon monoxide is in the air.

Portable detectors are available that can be used in a variety of applications. These models offer real time measurements of CO down to a few ppm, and most can display the history of the detected level over a period of time. These types of detectors are often used by professional hygienists, building managers and other workers in a variety of non-residential buildings.

Battery-powered detectors use replaceable batteries, while hardwired units connect to the building’s wiring for power. Some models have a test button that lets users know when the unit needs to be replaced or the battery is low. Some detectors also have LED lights that indicate status, and most emit a loud, audible alarm when the alarm button is pressed.

Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that is produced when fuel is burned incorrectly (this includes furnaces, kerosene heaters, fireplaces and vehicle exhaust). Carbon monoxide can cause poisoning with exposure to levels as low as 40 parts per million. Detectors are designed to alert you to dangerous levels of CO through an alarm, some…