Letter: CO detector correction

February 3, 2014 

The letter in Monday's Herald, "CO detector warning," gives people bad advice, though not necessarily harmful advice.

The author wrote that CO detectors must be mounted near the floor to be effective. In fact, they may be mounted on the wall or even the ceiling, according to national standards. Look at the instructions for any CO detector to verify this, as I just did for two detectors manufactured by two different companies.

Further evidence is the availability of combined CO and smoke detectors. This would not be allowed if CO detectors had to be mounted near the floor, as smoke detectors must be mounted on or near the ceiling.

Why is he wrong? carbon monoxide is not heavier than air but lighter than air, so it will not sink to the floor but will mix with the air and spread evenly.

Perhaps he has confused CO with propane, which is substantially heavier than air and will sink to the floor, so that is where propane detectors must be mounted.

I think you should print a notice to this effect in the paper, so homeowners will not suffer from anxiety or go to unnecessary effort to relocate their CO detectors.


w Editor's note: Carbon monoxide is almost identical in weight to air, although slightly lighter. Follow the manufacturer's instruction for installing CO detectors.

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