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What To Do When Your Carbon Monoxide Detector Is Beeping

We install carbon monoxide detectors in our homes to prevent the worst from happening. But like any other insurance protector we use or install, we hope we never use it. 

So what do you do when your carbon monoxide detector starts beeping?

Determine what the beep is

Like a smoke detector, a carbon monoxide detector will warn you when the battery is low. You’ll likely hear short chirps every minute or so, letting you know it’s time to replace your batteries. What To Do When Your Carbon Monoxide Detector Is Beeping

Most carbon monoxide detectors will beep 4 or 5 times in a row every few seconds, and continue the process nonstop. Don’t ignore the beep thinking it’s a low battery. If there is any question, get everyone outside to fresh air. 

Get out of the building

The first and most important step is to leave the area immediately. Carbon monoxide can quickly impact your health, so it’s important to get to safety as quickly as possible. Symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue or drowsiness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Confusion
  • Low blood pressure
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea

Pets often react faster to the symptoms than a human does. If they become weak or unresponsive, quick action should be taken. 

Call in emergency services

As soon as you and your family are safe, call in emergency services say the health experts at CAHI.org. This includes getting your pets to safety as well as all family members. 

Get a complete carbon monoxide inspection

Once your home is safe, be sure to have a complete inspection performed on your home to ensure all carbon monoxide producing appliances are safe and secure. These include things like:

  • Furnace
  • Chimneys
  • Fireplaces
  • Wood burning stoves
  • Generators
  • Central heating systems
  • Boilers
  • Gas appliances

Fix and repair any appliance that isn’t working properly. Also take precautions to avoid other carbon monoxide activities in and near your home, such as smoking, leaving the car idling in the garage, or using a barbeque grill to close too close to doors and windows. 


Don’t forget to test your carbon monoxide detector on a regular basis. Test them once a month, and replace the batteries once a year. 

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