CO Detectors: Fighting against the ‘invisible killer’

(WPRI) By law, carbon monoxide detectors are required in most homes in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, a detector should be placed in a central location outside of each sleeping area in your home and on every level.

These detectors should be tested once a month, said the association.

Depending on the make and model, detectors need to be replaced every five to seven years. Typically, the expiration date is tagged on the back.

First responders also stated that it may be a good idea to invest in a backup CO detector for travel purposes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion
  • High levels can cause loss of consciousness and death.

 MORE: Fire and Carbon Monoxide Safety »

Other ways to avoid CO include per the Centers for Disease Control:

  • Don’t use a gas range or oven to heat a home.
  • Don’t leave the motor of a car running while it is parked in an enclosed or partially enclosed space.
  • Don’t run a motor vehicle, generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine outside an open window, door, or vent where exhaust can vent into an enclosed area.
  • Don’t run a generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine inside a basement, garage, or other enclosed structure, even if the doors or windows are open – unless the equipment is professionally installed and vented. Keep vents and flues free of debris, especially if winds are high.
  • Don’t use a charcoal grill, hibachi, lantern, or portable camping stove inside a home, tent, or camper.