Carbon Monoxide Detector Reviews – 2017 (New Update)
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, over 10,000 Americans are hospitalized and 1,500 die each year from Carbon Monoxide (“CO”) poisoning. The gas, known as the silent killer, is responsible for the death of thousands of children, teenagers, adults and even entire families due to CO poisoning – which usually occurs after a family has settled in peacefully for a good night’s sleep . . . they never saw it coming.
What is Carbon Monoxide?
It is an odorless gas that is absorbed into the bloodstream and displaces oxygen with CO, causing unconsciousness and then finally asphyxiation. It is a byproduct of partially burned fossil fuel and is particularly dangerous in homes that have older gas or heating oil furnaces or those that heat their water in a conventional fuel fired water heater.
Carbon Monoxide Levels
Depending on the CO level, carbon monoxide symptoms range from dizziness and nausea to outright death. 1500/10,000 or about 1 in 7 perish when seriously exposed to carbon monoxide.
What to Do if You Think You Have CO Poisoning?
First, immediately get fresh air. Carbon monoxide gas is most dangerous in an enclosed area. Lack of fresh air could very well be a death warrant for those engulfed in a carbon monoxide affected area.
Next, seek medical attention right away. Once clear of the deadly gas call 911 if you’re the one affected – do not attempt to drive if you’re experiencing dizziness or other similar symptoms. If you’re unaffected but caring for others, get them to the emergency room immediately.
Carbon Monoxide Detector Law
All states in this country now require carbon monoxide detectors installed in residential structures; if you do not have one you are breaking the law. It may surprise you to know that carbon monoxide detector laws often date back decades, but are often unknown or ignored until a home owner applies for a permit to have work done on their property – part of the final work sign off usually involves compliance with this ordinance. Regardless, don’t take a chance; they are not expensive as you will see below in our Carbon Monoxide Detector Review.
Where to Put a Carbon Monoxide Detector?
This is a common question; there are two answers to this. The first is “where you should place your carbon monoxide detector” the next is “where you should NOT place it”.
Let’s review the rules of placement first. One detector should go in each of these areas:
1) Within 10-15 feet outside of each separate sleeping area;
2) In every level of your home, including the basement;
3) Not near or over any attached garage
4) Not near a furnace or apartment building furnace exhaust vent
Hot Ten Review’s Top Choice – First Alert OneLink SCO501CN –
Where NOT to place a carbon monoxide detector
1) Within 10 to 15 feet of any furnace or fossil fuel burning heat source;
2) In or near humid areas (i.e. bathrooms or saunas);
3) In direct sunlight;
4) In areas that get extremely hot such as an unfinished attic;
5) Behind obstacles that will prevent carbon monoxide detectors from working, such as a curtain or behind a door;
6) Near ceiling fans, vents or air conditioning – these can mask a buildup of CO gas.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
The two most popular carbon monoxide detector manufacturers are First Alert and Kidde. These two companies’ products account all of our Hot Ten’s choices and they are both well-respected manufacturers.
Features to Look For
There is one key feature and many much less important ones. The key feature is, as you may guess: Precision in the detection of carbon monoxide gas.
Detection and notification at different contamination points is critical. You don’t necessarily want your detector to go off at a few parts per million, but you may want it to “just let you know,” at say 150 ppm and then warn you sternly at 300 ppm. We rate each unit’s sensitivity at different PPMs.
We also let you know if the unit is battery powered, hardwired to your home’s internal power or both. Next we tell you the type of warning system dessiminated by your carbon monoxide detector, beeping, voice or both. Finally we discuss the detectors’ placement; wall or ceiling? Carbon monoxide detector placement is a design issue of course, but it is also essential for the safety of your family. Phew, now on to the selection process!
2017 Carbon Monoxide Detector Reviews
#1 First Alert SCO501CN-3ST –
***Hot Ten Review’s Overall Top Choice***
The First Alert SCO501CN-3ST ONELINK Combination Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm is our Overall Top Choice. The unit is both a smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector and interconnects with other First Alert ONELINK enabled alarms to form a web of protection in your home. The voice alarm will alert you if any one of up to 11 units detects a potential danger. The unit uses highly sensitive state of the art electrochemical carbon monoxide and photoelectric smoke sensing technologies to protect you and your family. It also has a low battery warning and 5-year limited warranty.
#2 First Alert CO511B –
$69.99 $43.08 ★★★★¼
The First Alert SCO511B Carbon Monoxide Alarm is our Best Value Choice. The unit is interconnects with other First Alert ONELINK enabled alarms to form a web of protection in your home. The voice alarm will alert you if any one of up to 11 units detects a potential danger. The unit uses state of the art electrochemical carbon monoxide technology. It also has a low battery warning and 5-year limited warranty.
#3 First Alert CO615 Carbon Monoxide Plug-In Alarm– $59.99 ★★★★
The First Alert CO615 carbon monoxide alarm uses a state of the art electrochemical carbon monoxide technology and an easy to read backlight that gives a current readout of CO concentration in the area. The unit plugs into the wall and includes a battery backup in case the power goes out while you are sleeping. If dangerous carbon monoxide is present the unit lets out an 85 decibel horn, and continues the alert until acknowledged by the homeowner. The carbon monoxide detector has a low battery warning and a 5-year limited warranty.
#4 First Alert CO410 Battery Powered Carbon Monoxide Alarm $49.95 ★★★★
The First Alert CO410 carbon monoxide alarm uses an electrochemical carbon monoxide sensor-the most accurate technology available. This alarm is perfect for bedrooms, hallways, and basements. Its easy-to-read backlit digital LED display gives you a clear read-out of current CO concentrations in parts per million. It is powered by two AA replaceable batteries giving you peace of mind during power outages. The test/silence button both silences a non-threatening alarm and low battery warning and allows you to test the unit’s functionality. The alarm performs its own internal test as well. The unit monitors and re-alarms if carbon monoxide levels persist sounding a loud 85-decibel horn. No installation is required and the attractive design allows the unit to be placed anywhere you need it. It includes an optional wall mount–no outlet required. An audible and visual low battery signal alerts you to replace the battery. UL listed.
#5 Kidde KN-COPP-3 Nighthawk Plug-In Carbon Monoxide Alarm with Battery Backup and Digital Display $69.95 ★★★½
the Kidde KN-COPP-3 Nighthawk is a UL-listed, A/C-powered, plug-in CO alarm that utilizes sophisticated electronic components and sensor technology to protect you and your family from the dangers of CO. It plugs directly into a standard A/C outlet and includes a 9-volt battery backup that provides continuous monitoring of CO levels–even during power outages. When placed on every level of your home, alarms like the KN-COPP-3 Nighthawk can help protect everyone in the house from CO exposure by giving you an unmistakable signal when levels have reached an unhealthy point. If unhealthy levels are detected, the alarm will emit four quick audible beats every five seconds until either levels decrease or the reset button is pressed. The KN-COPP-3 Nighthawk is unique among traditional CO alarms because of its digital display. This display clearly shows levels of CO that the unit has detected and stored– from 30 to 999 ppm–and it updates every 15 seconds to indicate any abrupt changes or alarming trends. The display also shows the peak CO level recorded by the alarm since it was last reset or unplugged.
#6 Kidde KN-COSM-IB Hardwire Combination Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Alarm with Battery Backup and Voice Warning, Interconnectable $61.99 ★★★½
The KN-COSM-IB combines a Carbon Monoxide and Ionization Smoke Alarm, providing two important safety devices in a single unit. This alarm includes a voice warning system that helps eliminate confusion, as it tells you if its detected fire or carbon monoxide, or even if it needs a new battery. This alarm has 9 volt battery backup, which protects you and your family – even during a power outage when many incidences occur. The alarm also allows you to easily silence nuisance alarms using its convenient Smart Hush feature. This talking combo alarm is powered by your home’s electricity and can interconnect with other smoke alarms in your home. Experts recommend interconnected alarms, because when one sounds, they all sound, providing an early warning against fire by dramatically increasing your ability to hear an alarm anywhere in your home, regardless of where the fire starts.
The Kidde Silhouette Low-Profile Carbon Monoxide Alarm features a rechargeable lithium-ion battery sealed inside the unit that recharges automatically via central electricity. If there is a power outage, the battery backup feature will allow continuous monitoring of carbon monoxide (CO) levels–something AC-only units can’t offer–and it will recharge when electricity is restored. Over the span of the alarm’s life, this no-fuss unit saves homeowners money, time, and labor on battery changes. For builders, landlords, hoteliers, and apartment managers, this innovative feature cuts down on callbacks, material, and labor costs. The battery is designed to last the lifetime of the alarm, approximately seven years, which is 40 percent longer than standard CO alarms. Once the alarm has reached the end of its life, it will chirp every 30 seconds, letting you know it’s time for a replacement.
#8 Kidde KN-COPP-B Front Load Battery-Operated Carbon Monoxide Alarm with Digital Display $74.99 ★★★¼
Protect your family from the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) with the Kidde KN-COPP-B Front-Load Battery-Operated Carbon Monoxide Alarm with Digital Display. Specifically designed for in-home use, the KN-COPP-B is the only battery-operated alarm that includes a backlit digital display. This key feature adds an advanced level of protection, and makes for easy-reading, even in low-light conditions. Carefully designed and tested to detect CO concentrations in a residential environment, the Kidde KN-COPP-B is a battery-operated CO alarm that continuously monitors CO levels, even during power outages when many CO incidents occur. Like all Kidde CO alarms, the KN-COPP-B includes the most accurate sensing technology available, the patented Nighthawk electrochemical sensor.
Easy to install, the Kidde Nighthawk KN-COB-B-LS battery-operated carbon monoxide alarm provides reliable protection against the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO). With an increasing number of state and local governments passing legislation requiring CO detectors in homes, it’s never been a better time to safeguard your family against carbon monoxide exposure.
#10 Kidde 900-0235 Nighthawk Carbon Monoxide Alarm, Long Life AC Powered with Battery Backup $49.99 ★★★
Protect your family from the dangers of carbon monoxide exposure with the Kidde 900-0235 Nighthawk Carbon Monoxide Alarm. This easy-to-install, UL-listed unit features 9-volt battery backup, a tamper-resistant design, a test/reset button, and a seven-year end-of-life warning to provide reliable protection against the dangers of carbon monoxide. Featuring a small, sleek profile, the 900-0235 is suitable for all living areas.
So there you have it. Hot Ten Reviews Best Carbon Monoxide Detectors for 2017. Now you just need to pick the version that is best for your home.