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Installation Tips

Tips on Installing Your Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detector

It is important to replace your COSTAR® carbon monoxide alarm and/or detectors every six years or sooner. All alarms wear out over time and very sensitive technologies such as carbon monoxide sensors that measure in part per million have limited life.   Smoke detectors wear out in 10 years and should be replaced too.  If you do not know how old your Quantum carbon monoxide detector or CO alarm is you can call us at 1-800-432 5599 and we will assist you.  We have a date code on every alarm and can easily determine the age of your existing CO detector or CO alarm.

The location of your alarm is very important for proper performance and monitoring. Place your COSTAR® carbon monoxide alarm or CO detector either on the ceiling or on the wall at least 5 feet above the floor.  Do not install your CO detector or CO alarm near a window.  Install one COSTAR® carbon monoxide alarm or CO detector on each level of your home and inside each bedroom, especially if you sleep with the bedroom door closed and may not hear the alarm outside of your bedroom. 

It is important to maintain charged batteries in all of your detectors and alarms. Every fall (Daylight Savings Time end is the perfect time to do so), change the batteries in all your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors and CO alarms around the house. You should also test every one of your carbon monoxide alarms or detectors every week by pressing the test button and holding for 10 seconds.  Change the batteries at least once a year or when you hear and see the low battery signal (short chirp every 30 to 45 seconds accompanied by a LED short flash).

Never remove batteries from your carbon monoxide alarm or CO detector unless you are putting in a new battery. Carbon monoxide alarm batteries should not be used in other devices.

You should maintain your carbon monoxide alarms and/or CO detectors by cleaning it with a damp paper towel and/or vacuum it at least one a year or more often if needed. Do not use any other household cleaners on your CO detector or you may affect its performance or shorten its life.

Become familiar with the features of your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and CO alarms. Read the user’s manual and follow the installation, testing and maintenance instructions.

Your carbon monoxide detectors and CO alarms provide you with early warning and gives you time to evacuate a dangerous home filling up with carbon monoxide.  Even though you may not have any symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, you need to evacuate to clean air outside until someone with proper equipment go in and check it out.  Remember to always call 911 from outside your home. You should prepare an escape plan and practice it with all household members at least once a year. Everyone in the home must be aware of the primary and secondary exits available in case of a fire and/or carbon monoxide poisoning.

Nuisance alarms: If cooking smoke sets off your smoke alarm, do not disable it. Press the test button to silence the alarm for four minutes.  If the air is not clear in four minutes and the alarm sounds again you must evacuate immediately and call 911.

Addition information is available at the following websites:

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Underwriters Laboratories

U.S. Fire Administration

Fire Safety

National Fire Protection Association

Sparky The Fire Dog


Figure 1: Recommended CO alarm protection for multi-level residence and Recreational Vehicle.

Please note The COSTAR 9RV and 12RV-DB are retail CO alarms approved for “Unconditioned Space” such as a garage, RV, basement and attic.

Figure 2: Recommended CO alarm protection for single-floor residence

Can you put an alarm in both of the kids’ bedrooms?



Figure 3:  Recommended CO alarm wall mounting location is 5 to 6 feet from the floor or on the ceiling.  When carbon monoxide (CO) is emitted from combustion it is hot and travels up.  CO is also slightly lighter than air.