How to test carbon monoxide alarm

How to test carbon monoxide alarm. Incomplete combustion may result in the formation of carbon monoxide instead of carbon dioxide, which may get accumulated in your home, resulting in deadly conditions.

Carbon monoxide gas is generated by the use of any fuel-burning device.  The prime sources include your home’s furnace, home dryer vent installed in a drying machine, and chimneys.

Usually, if a chimney exists in your home, there might be a chance that carbon monoxide may get released.

A carbon monoxide alarm is employed to check the concentration of accumulated gas.

So to ensure safety, you must check the alarm efficiency each month.

For checking your alarm sensitivity, follow the guidelines discussed below to indicate the usefulness of your carbon monoxide detector.

CO is hazardous; if accumulated in an area, it may cause death conditions. Testing the detector prevents any mishap from happening.

Types Of Detectors 

  1. Metal oxide 
  2. Biometric
  3. Electrochemical

All work differently but detect the gas unless the detector is working effectively.

How to test carbon monoxide alarmtest carbon monoxide alarm

Testing Device Sensor Using the test button

  • Test a carbon monoxide detector by holding down the “test” button.
  • Hold it until two beep sounds. 
  • After hearing those beeps, uphold the test button.
  • Repeat the experiment by holding down the test button until the device starts to give four beeps.
  • Four beeps indicate the presence of carbon monoxide and ensure the device is working efficiently.
  • The device produces different beep sounds that must be accounted for.

 It is important to remember the difference between all the beep sound types.

Some opt for emergency conditions, while others may be just battery charging reminders.

  • Four beeps and a pause indicate the presence of carbon monoxide gas in the air. Quickly turn on the exhaust fan to avoid gas accumulation.
  • Two beeps indicate the device is under the test mode.
  • One beep every minute indicates that the alarm battery is out of date. It should be replaced immediately.
  • Five beeps every minute show that your alarm is totally out of date. The device is at the end stage, and you need to purchase a new one for better detection.

Testing Device Sensor Using Canned CO Test Gas

Purchase a carbon monoxide detector spray either from nearby home improvement stores or online platforms.

It costs 8$-15$. The product lasts for over a year.

  • Features 
  • Non-flammable 
  • Fewer poisons if used properly
  • Less Carbon monoxide concentration 
  • Warning avoids illegal use of such sprays.
  • Stay away from the reach of children.

Maintain a distance of 6 feet from the carbon monoxide detector while using the canned test gas.

Before applying test gasbefore applying test gas

  1. Cover the alarm and the nozzle of the test spray with a plastic bag 
  2. Develop a testing device holding the canned spray gas at the time of the test.

The reason behind this is not to allow canned gas to spread all over.

  • Start the procedure by spraying the gas for at least 3 seconds.
  • The spray rate must be according to the limit of the detector to detect it effectively.
  • Hold it for about 3 seconds more. 
  • Check the detector within 15 min for a beep sound or alarm.
  • If the alarm gets activated, it means the detector is working fine.
  • Stop the alarm using the push button present near the LED light in the detector.
  • On the other hand, if the alarm isn’t activated, you need to either change the device or replace the old batteries.
  • If the alarm isn’t illuminating red flashes, the issue lies in the batteries.
  • The batteries might get old or dead.
  • Replace them soon to make the device work properly.
  • After the test, remove the plastic bag and turn on the fan to remove the excess test gas.

Remember to keep repeating the CO spray test monthly to be sure that the alarm is working efficiently.


Carbon monoxide is hazardous to health if present in excess amounts in the air.

These detectors must be tested once a month to ensure the safety and proper working of the device. Remember to avoid direct contact with the gas while testing the device alarm.

Call 911 in case of any emergency.

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