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What is the correct height for a carbon monoxide detector?

Updated March 23, 2017

A carbon monoxide detector recognises carbon monoxide, a colourless, odourless, tasteless and highly toxic gas. The correct height for a carbon monoxide detector is knee height on the wall. This offers protection while sleeping, which is when you are most vulnerable to carbon monoxide poisoning. Detectors should also be hung above permanently installed fuel-burning appliances.

Height Considerations

Home carbon monoxide detectors should be installed in central locations outside sleeping areas. When you lie down to sleep, your head is knee high. Alarms near where you are sleeping will detect levels at head height, and you will be more likely to wake when it sounds. Waist height is also acceptable, if necessary to avoid damage by pets or children, but do not hang it where there are obstructions to normal air flow.

Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Combos

Unlike smoke, carbon monoxide does not rise to the ceiling. It mixes with air. If a combination unit is used, one that detects smoke and carbon monoxide, it should be installed on the ceiling ensuring that smoke is detected.

Manufacturer's Instructions

Some carbon monoxide detectors monitor for other gases as well. It is important to follow the manufacturer's instructions for placement at the correct height.

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About the Author

Jennifer Dermody started writing in 1992. She has been published in "Running Wild Magazine," "The Green Book" environmental bid journal and local publications in the areas that she has lived all over the world. She is currently a licensed Florida real estate agent. Dermody earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Regis College in 1993.