April 12, 2016

Carbon monoxide is very dangerous because, without a detector, you may have no idea that it’s in your home. Even when building up to deadly levels, you’re not going to see it or smell it. That’s why people often call it a silent killer.

A carbon monoxide detector works much like a smoke detector, and there are even combination units that check for both at the same time. If the gas is found, it chimes and tells you to get out of the house before you suffer any harm.

However, experts warn that you absolutely need to read the fine print. A lot of detectors are only rated to work at all for seven years. Don’t just assume that the detector is working because it’s not making any noise. After you get past that seven-year mark, it may have failed and it will stay silent even if your home is full of gas.

Now, many detectors are set up to chime when they need to be replaced. This is to let you know in case you forgot—or if you bought your home with the detectors already installed and you have no idea how old they are. That being said, this function could break and you may not get any warning, so it’s best to keep track of the lifespan on your own.

If you have lost a family member because of a carbon monoxide leak and a detector did not warn the person to get out of the house, you may have a wrongful death case in Pennsylvania. As you can imagine, the age of the detector and the warning labels that are on it will influence this case.

Source: Mouseprint, “Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Guaranteed to Fail in 7 Years,” accessed April 12, 2016