Carbon monoxide alarms alert you with four beeps. A single chirp means the battery is low or the detector should be replaced.
To reset the alarm, the unit needs fresh air and time to burn the contamination off the sensor. Push and hold the silence button for 5 seconds to silence the alarm while contamination is being burned off the sensor. You may need to do this a number of times to give the carbon monoxide alarm enough time to reset.
If your detector is low on battery, you will likely hear a short chirp every minute. To warn of dangerous CO levels, most detectors will beep 4 or 5 times in a row about every 4 seconds. Do not mistake dangerous levels of poisonous gas for a detector with low battery!
Can a carbon monoxide detector go off for no reason? In most cases, no. There is typically a reason why the CO alarm is sounding, whether it detects carbon monoxide in the air or is low on battery.
Low Battery – The alarm will chirp every 30-40 seconds (every 60 seconds for some alarms) for a minimum of seven days. Replace the battery when this occurs, then test your alarm.
A carbon monoxide detector is a must for any home and just as important as a smoke detector. CO detectors should be placed near all bedrooms; they're the only way you will know if carbon monoxide is affecting the air quality in your home, and can help prevent serious illness and even death.
If the carbon monoxide concentration in the air is much higher, signs of poisoning may occur within 1-2 hours. A very high carbon monoxide concentration can even kill an exposed individual within 5 minutes.
In domestic properties, your CO alarm can be triggered by any fuel burning appliance such as gas cookers, boilers and ovens. All of these appliances give off small traces of CO, but the levels can rise slightly when adequate ventilation isn't provided, or the venting is blocked or clogged by dust.
Clothes dryers. Water heaters. Furnaces or boilers. Fireplaces, both gas and wood burning.
The CO alarm sounds if your sensor detects a buildup of carbon monoxide in your home—usually before you start sensing symptoms. With a low CO level (50 ppm), it may take up to eight hours for the alarm to go off. Higher carbon monoxide levels (over 150 ppm) can trigger an alarm within minutes.
1 beep every minute: This means that the detector has low batteries and you should replace them. 5 beeps every minute: This means your alarm has reached the end of its life and needs to be replaced with a new carbon monoxide alarm.
1 Beep Every Minute: Low Battery. It is time to replace the batteries in your carbon monoxide alarm. 5 Beeps Every Minute: End of Life. This chirp means it is time to replace your carbon monoxide alarm.
If you only hear one chirp every 30 seconds, this may indicate that your alarm has one of the following conditions: End-of-Life warning. Low battery warning (see your user's manual for more details) Alarm malfunction.
Possible false alarm causes
Fossil fuel-burning appliances may not be burning fuel completely. Check pilot lights/flames for blue color. Appearance of yellow or orange flames indicates incomplete combustion—a source of carbon monoxide.
Ultimately, no, a carbon monoxide detector cannot detect a natural gas leak. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a toxic gas created when fuel is burned in the presence of low levels of oxygen. Carbon monoxide is very different from methane and cannot be detected with the same sensor.
The Best Way to Test for Carbon Monoxide
Because CO is colorless, tasteless, odorless and non-irritating, the best way to detect its presence is to use an electronic combustion testing instrument.
Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning can become deadly in a matter of minutes. If you suspect CO poisoning, leave your home or building immediately and call 911 or go to the emergency room. If treated quickly, the effects of CO poisoning can be reversed.
Signs of a carbon monoxide leak in your house or home
Sooty or brownish-yellow stains around the leaking appliance. Stale, stuffy, or smelly air, like the smell of something burning or overheating. Soot, smoke, fumes, or back-draft in the house from a chimney, fireplace, or other fuel burning equipment.
Opening a window will slow carbon monoxide poisoning, but it likely won't stop it. There simply isn't enough airflow through most windows to get rid of the poisonous gas, and it could take between four and eight hours for the CO to dissipate entirely.
Most people with a mild exposure to carbon monoxide experience headaches, fatigue, and nausea. Unfortunately, the symptoms are easily overlooked because they are often flu-like. Medium exposure can cause you to experience a throbbing headache, drowsiness, disorientation, and an accelerated heart rate.
To Test the Device:
To test a carbon monoxide detector, hold down the “test” button until you hear two beeps sound off. Once you hear these beeps, release your finger off the test button. Recreate this event, but this time hold down the test button until you hear four beeps.
At sustained CO concentrations above 150 to 200 ppm, disorientation, unconsciousness, and death are possible.