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Community and Q&A

Carbon monoxide detectors in a fuel-free house?

Trevor Lambert | Posted in Mechanicals on

Just a quick sanity check here. Our house will have no fuel burning devices (also no garage), so code requires only smoke detectors, not combination detectors. Is there any reason at all to have them? The cost difference is fairly small, but if they are completely pointless then I will leave them out. Is there any other possible source of CO?

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Replies

  1. Steve Knapp CZ 3A Georgia | | #1

    Are you actively ventilating the house? Could you imagine a vehicle or other combustion source operating in proximity to the air intake? Do you have nearby neighbors who burn wood for heating? Does the smoke ever drift on to your property?

  2. Andy CD Zone 5 - NW Ohio | | #2

    The rationale I've heard is that you and I know they're pointless now, but it's entirely possible that someone will bring a combustion device into the house in the future. There's that corner of the building code that anticipates future human stupidity.

  3. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #3

    Trevor,
    People have died during power outages from using a gas-fired generator placed in a mudroom or an attached garage, or from operating a charcoal grill indoors.

    Of course you're thinking, "I'm not that dumb." But that's what those people who died also thought.

  4. Expert Member
    Dana Dorsett | | #4

    Do you have an attached garage and a fossil-burner car?

    Do you live on top of a coal seam in the local geology?

    Do you bathe by massive candle light? https://thumbs.dreamstime.com/z/candlelight-bath-1946099.jpg

  5. Expert Member
    Peter Engle | | #5

    kerosene heaters for emergency heat are another big source of CO. I personally responded to at least 6 CO detector calls from friends and neighbors after Sandy. All were legitimate hazards, and nobody thought they were being dumb - but they were. I'd put at least one or two in the house.

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