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thursday, february 28, 2013

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Avery Browne During the past seven-eight weeks of the New Year we have responded to an increased number of Carbon Monoxide (CO) alarm activations in the community. On two occasions the the accurate detection and the early warning from the activation of the CO monitor saved the lives of two local families in their pets. The balance of the calls have been false alarms, due to device malfunctions.

In March 2007, Underwriters Laboratories, also known as UL, mandated in UL 2034 that all carbon monoxide alarms with a UL listing must have an end of life warning. Most states that require CO alarms in residential dwellings mandate that the alarm meet the UL 2034 standard. Hence, all CO alarms manufactured after April 2007 have this feature.

CO alarms are measuring instruments, about the size of a smoke detector, that monitor your home 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They are designed to provide accurate readings of this odorless, invisible, and tasteless gas, which are shown in parts per million (ppm), throughout the life of the alarm. Like most home appliances or instruments, they do not last forever. In addition, unlike instruments used by home maintenance and some fire professionals, residential CO alarms cannot be calibrated periodically to verify their accuracy. Notwithstanding the numerous advances manufacturers have made in the sensing technology that is installed in the CO alarms, a residential CO alarm must have a defined end of life.

In order to benefit from the latest innovations, companies such as Kidde recommends consumers replace their CO alarms every seven years. A number of manufacturers have set their end of life warnings to sound seven years after the unit received initial power.

Please join the Angwin Volunteer Fire Department and the many CO alarm manufacturers in safe guarding our homes by checking the battery and life cycle of your CO alarm.

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CO Detector Troubleshooting

CO Detectors

To determine if your alarm is at the end of its life, refer to the following:

• Seven years after initial power, a Kidde CO alarm will begin “chirping” every 30 seconds.

• The chirp will not stop until the unit is powered off.

• If the alarm has a digital display, it displays the ERR error code.

To retrieve the End of Life error code from your CO alarm, perform the following steps:
  1. 1. When the CO alarm displays the ERR error code, press and hold the Peak Level Memory button.
  2. 2. If the CO alarm has reached the end of its life, the display reads E09.

IMPORTANT: The alarm does not detect the presence of carbon monoxide when in this mode. Immediately replace your CO alarm with a new one.

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