What to Do If Your Carbon Monoxide Detector Goes Off

What to Do If Your Carbon Monoxide Alarms Goes Off

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, tasteless, invisible and poisonous gas produced by any fuel-burning device like stoves, furnaces, gas ranges or grills. Exposure to carbon monoxide gas can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

A carbon monoxide alarm alerts you to elevated CO levels in your home, providing you and your family with an early warning to help you safely escape to fresh air. Since this gas has no odor, taste or color the only way to detect CO is with working carbon monoxide detectors. At First Alert, we offer a variety of detectors to help keep you and your loved ones safe.

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can be similar to flu like symptoms including:

  • Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Vomiting

Exposure to CO gas over time or to elevated levels of CO can even lead to brain damage or death.

What Should You Do If Your CO Detector Goes Off?

Carbon monoxide detectors can go off for a few reasons. It's essential to understand why your alarm is going off in order to best respond in the event of an emergency. Here are some of the reasons, however, refer to your product’s manual for your specific model:

  • The detector has a low battery and they need to be replaced.
  • The detector has reached its end-of-life and the alarm itself needs to be replaced.
  • Elevated levels of carbon monoxide gas have been detected.

In the event of an emergency, there are a few steps to follow to help reduce exposure to this poisonous gas:

  1. Immediately evacuate the building to fresh air and safety.
  2. Call 9-1-1 once safely outside to report the incident and if there is anyone experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms like headaches, dizziness and vomiting.
  3. Do not return into the building until it has been cleared by first responders. Even if your alarm stops alerting, and you’ve switched off all the appliances and opened the windows and doors, the source may still be producing the poisonous gas.

Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors in Your Home

The only way to detect carbon monoxide is with working CO alarms. Install CO alarms on every level and in every bedroom of your home. Test your alarms regularly and replace the batteries every 6 months. At First Alert, we offer reliable CO detectors to help keep you and your family safe. Check out our smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to select the best option for the safety of your home and family.