OFMEM - Carbon Monoxide Alarm Tips

Carbon Monoxide Alarm Tips

Testing and Replacing

  • Landlords are responsible for installing and maintaining carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in their rental units
  • Landlords are required to test CO alarms in rental units annually and when the battery is replaced, changes are made to the electric circuit or a change of tenancy occurs.
  • It is against the law for tenants to remove the batteries or tamper with CO alarms in any way.
  • Test CO alarms every month by pressing the test button.
  • Replace batteries every year.
  • Replace CO alarms according to manufacturer's instructions.

Know the Sound of the CO Alarm:

  • Your CO alarm sounds different than your smoke alarm. Test both alarms monthly and make sure everyone in your home knows the difference between the two alarm sounds.
  • Know the difference between the CO alarms' low-battery warning, end of life warning and an emergency alarm – consult the CO alarm manufacturer’s instructions.

What to do if the CO Alarm Sounds:

  • Exposure to CO can cause flu-like symptoms such as headaches, nausea and dizziness, as well as confusion, drowsiness, loss of consciousness and death.
  • If your CO alarm sounds, and you or other occupants suffer from symptoms of CO poisoning, get everyone out of the home immediately. Then call 9-1-1 or your local emergency services number from outside the building.
  • If your CO alarm sounds, and no one is suffering from symptoms of CO poisoning, check to see if the battery needs replacing, or the alarm has reached its "end-of-life" before calling 9-1-1.