I’ve been asked to recommend the best CO (Carbon Monoxide) and smoke detector and monitor for home use.
The Nest Protect 2nd Generation smart alarm is my top choice but since it can be a bit pricy I added 10 more great, much cheaper devices that will help to keep you and your family safe.
Since these detectors can be used for different places at home, have different types of smoke sensors(Photoelectric vs Ionization) and can come both as a battery operated and plug-in devices, I have decided to research it and make a list of the best 11 detectors for your own different needs and requirements.
Carbon monoxide is also given the name of “silent and invisible killer”.
This name is given because carbon monoxide does not have a smell, color or taste and due to this reason, it has become a prevalent cause of death among people from all over the world. Every time you burn something be it gasoline, oil, wood, propane, natural gas or charcoal, a small amount of carbon monoxide is released in the air. In an outdoor space, releasing of this gas is not an issue as it gets plenty of space to dispel but in a contained environment its amount may reach a toxic level. Home fires are also very common and causing lots of casualties each year. so a device that can detect both CO and smoke is an item that we must have in our homes.
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Best CO and smoke detector and monitors for home use, What is available and what should I choose?
I made a list for you of 11 recommended devices which are all selling on Amazon so you can check them out and buy easily.
Before I get to the list, I would like to
1.What is CO and how is it produced?
Carbon monoxide is an extremely toxic gas that prevents the supply of oxygen that binds to hemoglobin in the blood.
Carbon monoxide (CO), also known as “silent killer” is colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas.
Carbon monoxide is formed as a result of incomplete combustion of flammable materials that include carbon such as natural gas, LPG (Cooking gas), oil, diesel, wood, or coal, cigarette smoke, vehicle emissions are also sources of CO.
The potential source of carbon monoxide in homes is heating devices(especially gas operated) and cooking ovens, which use combustible materials.
This is the most important reason why installation instructions and standards regarding combustion equipment emphasize strict ventilation arrangements.
Cars and generators operating in the garage/parking (sometimes closed) adjacent to the house, also may produce dangerous concentrations of Carbon monoxide
2. What are the symptoms of CO inhalation?
- Low concentrations – shortness of breath with moderate exertion; A weak headache; nausea; dizziness.
- High concentrations – a strong headache; Confusion in thinking, dizziness, visual
and hearing disturbances, Collapse or fainting in an effort.
- Extreme concentrations – unconsciousness,Coma, Death.
The main problem with carbon monoxide is the inability to detect it. A person may inhale a high amount of gas without knowing, and since most of the poisoning occurs as a result of the use of heaters in the winter, and some of the initial poisoning symptoms are similar to flu symptoms, many become confused – and ignore it.
3. What is the best place to install CO and smoke detectors?
The recommended placement for CO and smoke detectors are one on every level and in every bedroom, near the kitchen and near fire risks.
most of the detectors on the list below are serving both as a CO and as smoke detectors(combination alarms) so you will need to install just 1 device instead of 2.
Most of the people prefer to install it on the ceiling, however, some might use it on the upper part of a wall.
The detectors should be installed within 12 inches or less of where the wall and ceiling meet.
Do not install them near exterior windows and doors neither near air condition or a vent since the air flow might dissolve and dilute the smoke needed to activate the alarm.
4. which smoke sensors should my device have? Photoelectric vs Ionization
The smoke sensors come in 2 types – Photoelectric and Ionization.
Which one is better than?
Preferably both – a lot of the smoke detectors come with dual sensors which combine both Photoelectric and Ionization sensor.
If the detector doesn’t equip with a dual smoke sensor than you should always prefer the Photoelectric over the Ionization.
In fact, in lots of states, the Ionization-only sensors are banned, so you should go for the dual or the Photoelectric ones.
Here is a short video explanation on smoke sensors
My list of the best Best CO (Carbon Monoxide) And Smoke Detectors for home use
1. Nest Protect 2nd Generation Smart Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Wired Alarm
The first one on the list is the best device on the market today.
The Nest Protect 2nd Generation not only that looks great it is also a smart alarm.
A smart alarm means that this alarm has capabilities of sending alerts to your phone regarding smoke/CO detection and where there are coming from, status of battery, show you the temprature, weather and more.
You can read more about it here on this article.
As a smart device, the nest Protect gen 2 is not a cheap one and it is currently priced at 119.89$ on this popular seller on Amazon.
However, if you are looking for something more basic and much cheaper than you should check out these other 10 great devices.
Check out this Nest Protect Gen 2 Review!
2. First Alert Smoke Detector and Carbon Monoxide Detector Alarm- Battery Operated (SCO5CN)
It is a battery powered alarm and detector that helps you in keeping a complete check over the release of carbon monoxide and smoke in your house. This device comprises an electrochemical carbon monoxide detecting tools as well as a unique photoelectric sensor that can detect even the large particles of this gas in a fuming fire. You can install this device in your bedrooms and area where you and your kids sleep. The fumes of this gas are very poisonous especially during night time so you may not feel any symptoms in your body and if you are a deep sleeper you may not hear the alarm at all.
3. First Alert Smoke Detector and Carbon Monoxide Detector Alarm- Hardwired with Battery Backup (BRK SC9120B)
Through this smoke detector, you can still keep a track of release of carbon monoxide in your house even when there is a power failure. This device contains an ionization sensor that is capable of detecting small and large particles of fire. You can keep this device in your rooms and lounges whichever place is the closest to your kitchen. You can also connect this carbon monoxide detector from other compatible detectors to make sure that all the alarms are sound if any danger is detected. This device is very simple to use with side load compartments for batteries, silence button, and universal mounting brackets to make installation simple and easy.
4. Kidde Carbon Monoxide Alarm
This detector is used for Co detection only(no smoke detection) but it will do it perfectly.
It has a nice looking digital display which will show you the PPM (parts per million) of CO in every moment and will alert you when the numbers are high and risky.
This alarm is packed with high-tech features. It includes a peak level button that displays the peak level of carbon monoxide since it was last unplugged. Test button functions have been installed to test appropriate functioning as well as resetting of this device. They are also equipped with a battery backup of around 9 Volts which is there to supply power during short-circuits and power outage. You can install these alarms on every floor of your house so that the highest level of CO can be detected easily.
5. Kidde KN-COSM-IBA Hardwire (Combination Smoke/Carbon Monoxide)
This device works on the technique of interconnect-interconnect for up to at least 24 Kidde devices. It has battery operated backup that can provide smoke protection during a power cut. It uses ionization sensor technology to detect smoke, fumes, flames, and ions rapidly and has button functions which are used to examine the unit for apt functioning. Peak level memory features will announce if it detects carbon monoxide in the past few minutes if it detects the level of smoke and CO up to 100 ppm or higher since you last reset it. Green LED is fabricated inside the alarm which illuminates when an indication that the unit is getting AC power. It also flashes once every sixty seconds to indicate the mode of battery-only. This device is easy to be installed in your garage close to your house to detect fumes of CO and other fumes.
6. Kidde 21026043 Battery-Operated Combination Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Alarm with Voice Warning (KN-COSM-BA)
This device is easy to be installed in the floors of your house because floors have a tendency to absorb more smoke and fumes than any other thing in a room. It is a voice alarm where a vocal sound announces the type of fumes and hazards which have been detected. You will hear the word fire when the devices catch fire or carbon monoxide fumes. The installed battery gives protection during power outages and the unit put in will warn about conditions of low battery by starting an alarm chirp and triggering a red LED flashlight. Hush features will mute the nuisance from the alarm and you will hear a voice saying Hush Mode Activated and Hush Mode Cancelled. The humidity range of this alarm is around ten percent to ninety-five percent non-condensing relative humidity.
7. First Alert Smoke Detector and Carbon Monoxide Detector Alarm Z-Wave
With this battery operated fire detector alarm you can keep your family safe from smoke and carbon monoxide in your house. You can install this device both in your house and your garage to make sure every level of your house is covered. It can be connected with other Z-wave compatible alarm devices that are sold in the market separately. There is an integrated system of wireless alarm which is compatible with your phone and can send you mobile alerts and emails so you are always aware of the danger your house might be in whether you are in the house or away from it. Other features of this device include the electrochemical CO sensor, photoelectric smoke sensing technology, test button, silence button, side access battery door, tamper-resistant batteries and pins that can lock the device in the mounting brackets. The combination technique of smoke and carbon monoxide will give you the protection alerts even if you are away from your house. Photoelectric smoke sensors also help in averting false alarms in case you are just cooking or taking a steam shower.
8. Worry-Free Hardwired Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm with Lithium Battery Backup (12010SCO)
This device can be installed in your house near an attached garage that has a way inside your rooms. It can be used to give two types of protections i.e. fire and carbon monoxide in a single unit with a battery backup of sealed lithium. This type of battery backup does not need any kind of replacement over time and can work effectively for ten years. Ionization technology is ideal for recognizing fast fumes, flames and other kinds of fires. This device also flashes once every minute to indicate that it is working on battery mode. Hush feature is installed to remove nuisances from alarm sound but can be reset once the device is back to alarm mode.
9. Firex AC Hardwired Combination Carbon Monoxide & Photoelectric Smoke Alarm (KN-COPE-IC )
It is better to install this device near all your burning devices. Gas tops and burners all produce a good amount of CO and fumes which is a major source of human poisoning. To give fire warning, red LED light has been installed and give three long alarm beeps and a voice will also say the word fire and will keep repeating it until you reset the device. This alarm will give four short beeps if there is CO poisoning.
Elvicto Smoke Combination Photoelectric Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector, Ideal for Hearing Impaired and elderly
This alarm is sleek in design and is very easy to install near your automobile exhaust, gas generators, and furnaces. It is manufactured to detect both smoke as well as carbon monoxide through its high caliber technology. This two in one functionality of this device is loved by the consumers. It has ultrasensitive photoelectric sensors that will alert you within seconds if there is any danger around. Bright green and red color LED lights are quite visible and indicate the functionality of the batteries.
It comes with a horn tone that has a lower and varying frequency which is ideal for people with mild hearing problems.
11. Kidde KN-Copp-3 KN-COPP-3-2PK 900-0076-01 Ac Powered, Plug-in Carbon Monoxide Alarm
Another great CO-only detector(no smoke detection).
This alarm is suitable to be installed in your bedrooms and kitchens because it can be plugged-in directly in a standard outlet. This detector of carbon monoxide gets the highest grades for sensing higher levels of CO and gas fumes and is also very good for detecting lower levels as well. The display accuracy of this device is unmatched, although it is not topnotch like the other ones in the list. However, this is a plug-in item but it still contains a 9-volt battery-operated standby to keep functioning during power outages and when you are unable to plug your device in a socket.
I hope that I helped you with finding the best CO (Carbon Monoxide) and smoke detector for home use.
Here is a related article that you should find intresting – The best fire escape ladder for balcony railings.