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Install smoke alarms in:
Smoke alarms should be mounted on the ceiling 4" from the wall, and wall mounts should be 4 to 12" from the ceiling. Do not install near draft areas (windows, vents).
You can call our Community Risk Reduction Division at 831-685-6690, ext. 115 if you are unsure about placement.
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Install the alarms outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. This will warn you if the carbon monoxide (CO) level rises in any part of the house.
Ensure the alarms are installed properly and clear of dust and debris and have working batteries.
Make sure you have the alarm installed high up in your home. One placed near the floor will only detect the gas when it has almost completely filled the room.
Additional tips to help you avoid carbon monoxide poisoning include:
There is a variety of carbon monoxide alarms available on the market. Look for an alarm that has been Underwriters Laboratory (UL) listed and has a California State Fire Marshal’s listing. Regardless of manufacture, they all work the same and will provide the necessary protection for you and your family.
While deciding which alarm to purchase, you may find some designed to be plugged into a wall receptacle. These devices have been manufactured for the traveling public who want to have one with them while on the road.
With the exception of the traveling alarms, all carbon monoxide alarms are required to be permanently affixed to the structure. When installing your alarm, please follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
Carbon monoxide alarms are required to be replaced every 7 years. However, those that are battery powered, or have a battery back-up need to have their batteries changed at the same time that you change your smoke alarm batteries. To help remember when to change your batteries, remember the phrase “Change your clock, change your battery”, as these both need to be changed at about the same interval.
Smoke alarms with non-replaceable (long-life) batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years. If the alarm chirps, warning that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke alarm right away.
For smoke alarms with any other type of battery, replace batteries at least once a year. If the alarm chirps, replace only the battery.
Test your smoke alarm. A suggested frequency is every month by simply holding down the test button. Vacuum your alarm at least once a year, as dust and cobwebs can impair sensitivity. Never paint over a smoke alarm! Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years.