Be CO-conscious

Reminder to replace expiring carbon monoxide alarms

Known as the “silent killer,” unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning from leaking heaters, furnaces and stoves kills about 400 people per year in the U.S. In 2011, California began requiring the installation of CO alarms in all houses, and the law was later expanded to cover all apartments, condos and other multi-family dwellings. The alarms have saved countless lives, and many states have adopted similar legislation and building codes. The alarms typically last about five to seven years, which means that if you or your property owner installed new ones when the law went into effect, it’s time to replace them. Most alarms feature an end-of-life warning to alert residents to the need for replacement, so if changing the battery doesn’t stop the chirping on your alarm, it’s time for a new one. When installing new alarms, be sure to follow National Fire Protection Association guidelines (; also, test them regularly and plan an escape route with everyone who lives in your home.

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; National Fire Protection Association