Why is my carbon monoxide alarm going off?

Question

My carbon monoxide alarm is sounding when there doesn’t seem to be a problem. How come?

Answer

Remember that carbon monoxide is an odourless, colourless gas. If your carbon monoxide alarm went off, it detected potentially harmful amounts of carbon monoxide. Make sure no-one has any symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Here are a few situations that may cause alarms:

  • The carbon monoxide alarm needs to be relocated.
    The carbon monoxide alarm should be located at least five meters away from all fossil-fuel-burning sources like furnaces and stoves. It should be located three meters away from sources of humidity like showers.

  • Fossil-fuel-burning appliances not burning fuel completely.
    Check pilot lights/flames for a blue colour. The appearance of yellow or orange flames indicates incomplete combustion – a source of carbon monoxide.