Smoke & Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarms

Alert Your Family to Danger

The primary fire safety strategy for any home is to warn the occupants early and get everyone out as quickly as possible. The best way to get the earliest warning of danger is by installing enough smoke alarms. Homes should have a smoke alarm near the bedrooms, but not so close to the kitchen that you have problems with alarms from cooking. It's a good idea to have a smoke alarm in each bedroom, especially if you sleep with the door closed.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) usually comes from faulty heating appliances but may also come from fireplaces or cars running in attached garages. CO cannot be seen, tasted or smelled, so the only way to detect a CO problem is to have a CO alarm. CO alarms should be located near the bedrooms.

If your smoke or CO alarm sounds, get everyone outside.

Protecting Yourself & Your Family from CO Poisoning

Install at least one Underwriters Laboratories (UL) listed carbon monoxide alarm with an audible warning signal near the sleeping areas and outside individual bedrooms. Carbon monoxide alarms measure levels of CO over time and are designed to sound an alarm before an average, healthy adult would experience symptoms. It is very possible that you may not be experiencing symptoms when you hear the alarm. This does not mean that CO is not present.


  • Have a qualified professional check all fuel burning appliances, furnaces, venting and chimney systems at least once a year.
  • Never use your range or oven to help heat your home and never use a charcoal grill or hibachi in your home or garage.
  • Never keep a car running in a garage. Even if the garage doors are open, normal circulation will not provide enough fresh air to reliably prevent a dangerous buildup of CO.
  • When purchasing an existing home, have a qualified technician evaluate the integrity of the heating and cooking systems, as well as the sealed spaces between the garage and house.

The presence of a carbon monoxide alarm in your home can save your life in the event of CO buildup.