How to install a CO Detector

Carbon monoxide has killed more people than ever before. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of the dangers and take safety precautions. One of the ways to do this, is by installing a carbon monoxide detector. These alarms are designed to measure the carbon monoxide level over time and sound an alarm before dangerous levels of the gas accumulate in an environment. This gives you enough time to safely ventilate the area or evacuate.

What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a highly poisonous gas that has no colour, smell or taste. That is the reason why it is often called “the silent killer”. CO is found in fumes when you burn fuel inside your home. This can be in stoves, fireplaces, furnaces, cars, trucks or small engines. When carbon monoxide is breathed in, it enters the blood stream and prevents the blood from absorbing oxygen. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can include headaches, confusion, drowsiness, dizziness, burning eyes and loss of consciousness. The longer you’re exposed to the gas, the symptoms will worsen.

CO detectors

Placement CO alarms

To make optimal use of a carbon monoxide detector, it is important to know where exactly it needs to be placed. Because carbon monoxide mixes with air, the alarms should be placed throughout your entire home. For minimum security, the alarms should be placed in each room where an appliance that burns fuel is used. Place CO alarms in each room where you or your family stay for multiple hours, such as bedrooms and the living room, for maximum security.

Where to place CO alarms?

If the CO source (fireplace, furnace, stove) is present in the room, the CO alarm needs to be placed in a specific place. The CO alarm can be placed on the ceiling and wall.



Place the CO alarm at the ceiling, at a centralized location, at a minimum of 30 cm away from the walls and at a horizontal distance of 1-3 meters from the possible source of CO. Do not place near air vents or directly next to other items on the ceiling such as lamps.



If ceiling mounting is not possible, place the CO alarm on the wall, 15 – 80 cm’s below the ceiling, but above the top of any doors or windows at a horizontal distance. Again placed 1-3 meters away from the possible source of CO.


Sloped ceiling

Place the CO alarm at horizontal height between 1-3 meters from the CO source. Place the detector at the high side of the sloped ceiling.

If the CO source is not present in the room, it’s advised to place the CO alarm at breathing height. Place the alarm at the height of the activities that are performed in the room. Spending a lot of time on the couch in the living room? Then place the alarm at sitting height.

Replacement carbon monoxide alarm

A carbon monoxide alarm doesn’t have eternal life and it’s very important it’s replaced after the “end of life”. The alarm needs to be replaced, even when the battery inside is still working. Make sure you fill in the “end of life” date on the replacement label when purchased. This way, any confusion about the date will be avoided. Afraid you will forget to replace the alarm? Don’t worry, we have a Smartreminder service. You can sign up for free on and get the reminder you want about testing, cleaning and/or replacing all alarms in your home.

How and where can I buy Smartwares CO detectors?

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