Testing a carbon monoxide detector.

Why You Need to Test the Carbon Monoxide Detector Regularly

You’re pretty diligent when it comes to replacing the batteries in your carbon monoxide detector. But how about the unit itself? Your CO detector has a lifespan of about ten years. Because this device is the only thing protecting you from a colorless, odorless gas that kills at least 450 annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control, testing it is vital.

How to Test Your Carbon Monoxide Detector

This is simple: Push the button on the front of the unit that says “test.” Hold it down for about 20 seconds. It should emit two loud beeps, which is a good sign. That means your CO alarm is functioning. If it doesn’t beep, replace the device immediately.

Here are a few more testing tips:

  • Use this opportunity to hear if your alarm is loud enough. Ask household members if they can hear the alarm from another room.
  • Your detector may be linked to your home alarm company. Let them know you’re conducting a test so they don’t think there’s an emergency.
  • Test the alarms monthly. This is an easy task to overlook, so consider scheduling a reminder on your phone.

How to Maintain Your Carbon Monoxide Detector

In addition to testing your alarms monthly, consider these tips to ensure it’s functioning correctly.

  • Your CO alarm has an expiration date. Check it! The date should be stamped on the back of the unit. It’d be wise to replace it at least a couple of years before it’s due to expire.
  • Replace the batteries every six months. Associate this task with daylight savings time when you’ll be adjusting your clocks.
  • Install backup batteries if your detector is hardwired into your electrical system. That way, it will still function during a blackout.
  • Use a can of compressed air to gently blow the dust off the sensor.

Bottom line: Carbon monoxide detectors can sense when gas is present early on, giving you plenty of warning. Replace them before they expire to keep you and your family safe. For expert installation of your CO alarms, turn to the St. George electricians at HedgeHog Electric. Schedule your appointment by calling (866) 605-2113.