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How do I Choose the Best Digital Carbon Monoxide Alarm?

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  • Written By: B. Miller
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 18 July 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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To choose the best digital carbon monoxide alarm, choose one that plugs into the wall as well as has a battery backup in case of power loss. Some digital carbon monoxide alarms are also combined with smoke alarms, and some may be connected wirelessly. This means that if one of the alarms goes off in the home, all of the alarms will then go off.

A simple digital carbon monoxide alarm with a battery backup is a good idea because in case the power goes out for any reason, the digital carbon monoxide alarm will still work. It is important to remember to regularly change the battery in the carbon monoxide alarm, to ensure that it is still working. The battery should be changed at least every six months, so mark it on your calendar so you do not forget.

In addition, the digital carbon monoxide alarm should feature a warning alarm if the battery gets low, or if the alarm is no longer functioning properly. Most carbon monoxide alarms feature "test" buttons, which may be checked regularly to ensure that the alarm is still working. Be sure to check the alarm regularly, and purchase a new alarm if yours does not include a test button or a low battery alert.

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In addition, choose a digital carbon monoxide alarm that is easy to use and understand. The digital readout should be clear, and it should display the carbon monoxide readout on the screen. This shows the level of carbon monoxide detected in the home; it should always read "0," unless the unit is in alarm, and then another number will be shown. In addition, an alarm with an electrochemical sensor may be a better choice, because it is more resistant to false alarms due to temperature or humidity changes.

Be sure to keep the instructions that come with the digital carbon monoxide alarm, in order to understand indicators of a high reading of CO in the home as opposed to a warning alarm for a low battery, for example. Some offer voice alarms as well as the more traditional beeping alarm. If the unit ever goes off, immediately leave the home and go outside to get fresh air. Call a professional to check the area for carbon monoxide leaks; furnaces and gas stoves are two common sources, for example.

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