Carbon Monoxide Detector


Senior Member
Question: I thought you did not need a carbon monoxide detector unless you had gas heat/stoves. I have oil heat and no gas appliances (other than a barbecue in the backyard with propane, and a spare tank in the garage).

Should a carbon monoxide detector be used in the burner room in this case?

I thought the answer was no, but someone recently told me they thought it was typically put in anyway so I figured I would check.
My understanding is that you can possibly get CO from any combustion source. A good example is ther rash of CO poisonings from people running generators indoors whenver there is a major blackout. The likelyhood of CO is much greater though from gas appliances. I expect the "typically put in" is just the cookie cutter approach many builders use for everything.

The flip side would be that installing one doesn't do any harm, and (marginally) increases your safety.
I found the following information at THIS website:

Where does carbon monoxide come from?

Carbon monoxide is a by-product of combustion, present whenever fuel is burned. It is produced by common home appliances, such as gas or oil furnaces, gas refrigerators, gas clothes dryers, gas ranges, gas water heaters or space heaters, fireplaces, charcoal grills, and wood burning stoves. Fumes from automobiles and gas-powered lawn mowers also contain carbon monoxide and can enter a home through walls or doorways if an engine is left running in an attached garage.

All of these sources can contribute to a CO problem in the home. If a home is vented properly and is free from appliance malfunctions, air pressure fluctuations or airway blockages, carbon monoxide will most likely be safely vented to the outside. But in today's "energy efficient" homes this is frequently not the case. Tightly constructed/sealed homes can trap CO-polluted air in a home year-round. Furnace heat exchangers can crack, vents can become blocked, inadequate air supply for combustion appliances can cause conditions known as backdrafting or reverse stacking, which force contaminated air back into the home. Exhaust fans on range hoods, clothes dryers and bathroom fans can also pull combustion products into the home.

And the following at THIS website:

What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fossil fuels (such as gasoline, wood, coal, propane, oil and methane) burn incompletely. In the home, heating and cooking equipment are possible sources of carbon monoxide. Vehicles running in an attached garage could also produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.