Do You Have A Carbon Monoxide Detector Installed in Your Home?

Hello there, Florida homeowners!

Let’s dive into a topic that’s vital for your safety and peace of mind: Carbon monoxide. This sneaky gas is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, and it’s produced when you burn fuels like gas, wood, propane, charcoal, or other sources.

Why your home needs carbon monoxide detectors

Here’s the deal: If you’re rocking fuel-burning appliances in your Florida haven, you’ve got to have a trusty CO detector. And if these appliances cozy up on more than one floor, you’re going to want a carbon monoxide detector on each level. And yes, don’t forget to give them a spot near your bedrooms.

Imagine your typical Florida abode, say a three-bedroom, two-bath beauty with an attic. According to the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA), you’ll want four CO detectors scattered around.

Now, here’s why this matters: When something goes awry with one of your fuel-burning buddies—your furnace, fireplace, stove, or hot water heater—dangerous carbon monoxide can sneak its way into your sanctuary.

Wondering what sort of appliances and engines can be the culprits? Brace yourself, it’s quite a list:

• Any oil, propane, or natural gas furnace, cooking stove, range, refrigerator, hot water heater, appliance, or fireplace.

• Anything wood or wood-burning, like woodstoves, heat stoves, fireplaces, wood-pellet stoves, boxes, or parlor stoves.

• Even a running car hanging out in your attached garage.

Now, here’s your action plan:

Give Your CO Detectors Some TLC: Just like you keep an eye on your smoke detectors, your CO detectors deserve the same attention. They’re your watchdogs against danger, so ensure they’re working perfectly when you need them most.

Remember the 5-6 Rule: Replace your CO detector after 5-6 years. Check the back for the manufactured date to gauge its age.

Look for the UL Symbol: Check that back again for the UL symbol—that’s Underwriters Laboratories. It tells you this device passed safety tests and met rigorous standards. Safety first, right? Some detectors out there skip this testing, and according to Consumer Reports, they’ve faltered when CO levels get risky.

Battery Business: Swap batteries as needed. Make it a ritual twice a year, maybe during daylight savings, when you also refresh your smoke detectors.

Know the State Drill: Florida has a little something for homeowners. If you’re building new or expanding your Florida nest post-July 1, 2008, keep in mind that if you’re rolling with fossil fuels, a cozy fireplace, or an attached garage, it’s time for a carbon monoxide alarm. Tuck one within 10 feet of each sleeping nook, and you’re good to go. Go for hardwired or battery-powered, whatever floats your boat.

The Unseen Threat: Carbon monoxide is no joke, and it’s a silent foe for humans and pets alike. Mild exposure can mimic flu symptoms like headaches, dizziness, nausea, and confusion. Severe exposure can cause brain damage and even death, especially for children and the elderly. The eerie part? You can’t see it or smell it.

Prevent, Protect, Prevail: Ensure your appliances are properly installed and maintained. Regular pro inspections keep things in check. Proper ventilation is a must to prevent CO buildup in enclosed spaces.

Tips for Your Toolkit:

• Make sure any unvented gas or kerosene space heater has some air to breathe, and keep doors open for ventilation.

• Never snooze next to an unvented combustion heater or run one overnight.

• Outdoor grills stay outdoors, never inside a home, tent, camper, or garage without air.

• Generators are happiest at least 20 feet from your living space.

• Don’t warm up your car in a closed garage. It’s a no-go.

Questions brewing about CO detectors? Don’t hesitate to reach out to me at Take a moment today to stroll through your abode and make sure each floor is CO-safe, or consider adding more detectors for that extra peace of mind.

Stay safe, Florida homeowners!

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Hey there, I'm April Tsotsos, and what really drives me is helping folks during those big life changes that often mean buying or selling a home right here in North Port, Florida.

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