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How do I know if my CO alarm went off because of Carbon Monoxide?


Guest dorothperk

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I can suggest a number of reasons for the alarm to enter into alarm state.

  1. All Carbon Monoxide alarms have an operating temperature parameter which is stated for the model. Exceeding this can cause the alarm to operate abnormally in that it may not reliably detect carbon monoxide. Placement as per the information in the user’s manual is important for the correct operation of the alarm. From the information provided in the question the placement of the alarm may be incorrect. (For example in the Kidde 10LLCO manual it states:- Place the alarm at least 2 metres from fuel burning appliances, and not more than 4 metres away from fuel burning appliances). This may have been the reason for the alarm though you should not readily assume that this is the case and you should check further.
  2. Exposure of the alarm sensor to other chemicals as provided in the user manual, stating that the sensor can be affected by and may cause false alarms when there is:- Methane, Propane, Iso-butane, Iso-propanol, Ethylene, Benzene, Toluene, Ethyl acetate, Hydrogen Sulphide, Hydrogen, Sulphur Dioxide, alcohol based products, paints, thinners, solvents, adhesives, hair-sprays, aftershaves or perfumes and some cleaning agents.
  3. Exposure to actual carbon monoxide gas. The alarm may have sounded as the unit responded to a source of CO possibly from the wood burner. If the models are the Kidde 8LLCO, 8LLDCO, 10LLCO and 10LLDCO, these units have a download capability and Kidde can provide you with feedback as to the event history for the alarm. Kidde would need the units back for that purpose. They can also check any returned alarms to establish if they detect carbon monoxide gas and provide feedback to assist you.
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  • 2 months later...
  • 4 months later...
Guest Wanda

Alarm was sounding, I took it down changed batteries, was silent for bout 2 hours, sounded again, I took batteries out and put back in, so far is silent again, could this be malfunction?

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Hi Wanda

Product defects can occur, however, you cannot be complacent, as it might have been a carbon monoxide leak during a short period of time, eg if your hot water boiler only runs while somebody is showering etc.

Check the age of the carbon monoxide alarm as well. CO alarms, depending from manufacturer, last only between 5 and 10 years and become erratic after expiry date.

If you suspect carbon monoxide gas, and my gut instinct tells me this is such a case, ring

  • Gas Emergency Services: 0800 111 999
  • Oftec (oil) - 0845 658 5080
  • HETAS (solid fuel) - 0845 634 5626

Harry

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest Melissa

HELPPPPP. ours went off, but the fire dept (small town volunteer) said her gadget didn't detect any CO in the rooms of the house. She said faulty battery BUT it was alarming CO mode (4 beeps, 5 second pause, 4 beeps). The back of the detector says low battery is a chirp every 40 secs. I'm scared still.

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I would say Melissa is in America, so knowing the make  / model will be of little use to us here in the UK.

 

However, I would say that if any CO alarm indicates CO, it is easy to check, take the alarm outside into the open air, and wait for it to stop, then take the alarm back inside, if it starts again there is a high probabilty of CO being present

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have 2 detectors in home. One on main floor and one upstairs where bedrooms are. 

The one upstairs has gone off but main floor has not.  Have tested main floor and it's fine.  

Would that suggest a faulty one upstairs or is it possible for only the stairs one to go off and not the both of them

Thanks

 

 

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Guest concerned one

I have a smoke detector /Co detector and it started going off. It sounded lik ed the smoke detector noise. It went off for awhile and then stopped. Should I be worried? I have been more exhausted than usual and feeling weak but everyone else seems to be fine?

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Hi

You always should take a sounding CO alarm serious. Yes, the alarm could in theory be faulty but the likelihood is very low. If your alarm sounds, open all windows, switch off all gas appliances and leave the house. You should contact the relevant service. Here are the contact details. We have published also an analysis of 'faulty' alarms.

Harry

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have a plug in co2 detector, it went off this morning with a beep every 20 seconds or so.  It was about 6:45am and none of my appliances were on, not even the heater!  It has been warm so the heater hadn't been on for the last 4 months.  How can I tell if it is faulty?

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Guest Help our alarm has gone off

Hi,

 

Our CO monitor has gone off twice in last few weeks in middle of night & then stopped.

 

its a 7 year alarm batteries are fine....what could be causing it? Can you get intermittent co leaks?

 

thanks

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So, our alarm was going off with the "warning! Carbon monoxide!" when we got home. We changed the batteries and it hasn't done anything yet. Could it just have been low batteries? I'm a little scared. 

Could have been, but i doubt it, more probable is that the detector actually detected carbon monoxide. You didn't leave the windows open / ajar did you?

Operate the detectors test button, if it works as described in its test manual, and does not indicate carbon monoxide again, then you have nothing to worry about.

 

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I have a plug in co2 detector, it went off this morning with a beep every 20 seconds or so.  It was about 6:45am and none of my appliances were on, not even the heater!  It has been warm so the heater hadn't been on for the last 4 months.  How can I tell if it is faulty?

Sorry if i appear to be pedantic, but first of all its CO, not CO2. CO is carbon monoxide, that is lethal. CO2 is carbon dioxide, it is what makes fizzy drinks fizzy.*

I would say that your detector has a low battery. Even though it is mains operated some do have battery back up which will require changing as and when. You will need to read the instruction manual for your particular detector (Sorry but you did not say make or model)

 

(*Carbon dioxide in very large quantities in a confined space is also not good for you.)

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  • 1 month later...

It is possible that a small quantity of CO escaped when you opened the the wood burner to place logs on the fire and this operated the detector. But it is not a good idea the allow electronic devices to get warm, which could affect the circuitry, that's why many are fitted with heat sinks and/or fans to keep them cool.  

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  • 3 weeks later...

my alarm is going of and im panicking but confused my boiler wasn't even on heating hasn't worked for 4 days and boiler was turned of when alarm started my daughter is asleep in her bed I have opened all doors and windows I'm waiting on somebody 2 hours they have told me any advice anyone is my daughter safe shall we wait outside till someone's here?rather cold out :/

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Hi, is the alarm a continuous alarm, if not it might be an error message, eg low battery?  How old is the unit, most need replacing after 5 to 10 years? Are there any battery chargers in the room, as the hydrogen from eg a car battery charging can trigger the alarm. Are there any neighbouring sources of CO, eg a neighbour's vent or a neighbour's chimney that could spill into your property through the loft area?

 

Harry

 

 

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  • 2 months later...

Hello cj I have a co alarm that keeps going off im for sure there no co in my apartment but the one down stair vim don't know but I don't smoke cigarettes could that be the reason that it keeps going off I change the batteries today and its been going off different times?

 

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Hi, it is unlikely that cigarette smoke would be dense enough to trigger an alarm. Check the replace-by date on the CO alarm to make sure it is not too old. Do you have a gas boiler, gas heater, solid fuel fire? Do your neighbours have any of these and do their lofts connect with yours? leaking chimney stacks in the loft area can spread CO.

For further info, see http://www.carbonmonoxideinfo.co.uk/

Harry

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