We Can Do Better, Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Home Inspector with EKAN Home Inspection CPBC #69177

Any home with a natural gas or wood burning appliance needs to be fitted with a carbon monoxide detector. Many home owners will replace, as they should, their obsolete 10 year old smoke alarms with a combination smoke alarm and carbon monoxide (CO) detector. So convenient but oh so wrong. 

Smoke alarms mounted high on the wall or ceiling is correct, as smoke rises and fills the ceiling cavity first. 

However carbon monoxide is heavier than air and settles low on the floor first. A receptacle plug-in CO detector, within 18 inches of the floor, is the most appropriate mounting. In contrast, by the time a ceiling mounted CO detector triggers an alarm, it may be too late for home occupants sleeping in a bed.

Retailers and suppliers should do better with their packaging and instructions. Life safety is serious business and we can certainly do better informing both contractors and DIY'ers on proper application of this technology.








Posted by


EKAN Home & Property Inspections

Sunshine Coast, North Vancouver, West Vancouver 

Comments (2)

William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

I agree with this completely.   I was at a builders meeting where some clown was telling us to mount the combo's high and not once did say anything about mounting them low.


I brought this up and the guy wanted to argue with me.   I didn't let it go and then some others got the drift that combo's did not work for both if only mounted one place.

Feb 28, 2017 08:47 AM
Eugene Kanciar
EKAN Home Inspection - West Vancouver, BC
Our Experience, Your Peace-of-Mind

William I'm glad to see that you're on top of the issue, and vocal about it! Well done. As far as I'm concerned, this type of dual sensor should be withdrawn from the consumer market as the application is misleading. 

Feb 28, 2017 09:20 AM