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Fire & Emergency Careers, And Fire Safety Info/Are you supposed to reset CO detector every once in awhile?


Hello, and thank you for your time.
I just bought a carbon monoxide detector. I have heard others say that you can get a "false alarm" with any detector because low levels of CO can build up in the unit over time. This worries me because I am away from my home often, and I have 3 cats and 2 small dogs. I do not want a false alarm to occur while I am away, leaving my pets to deal with that very loud alarm sound for hours or days! Should I reset it once in awhile to "clear it" of any built up low CO?

Hi Joyce,

As far as I know, there is no need to reset a CO alarm. The fact that the alarm beeps but there is no subsequent reading does not necessarily mean it was a false alarm. CO may dissipate between the time the alarm sounded and the time emergency responders measured it. If your alarm is giving you warnings, consider looking at the potential sources of CO in your area. Other than that, your CO alarm should not give you any problem other than changing the batteries every time daylight savings time changes.

Best regards,

Gustavo Flores

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Gustavo E. Flores


I am a volunteer Firefighter Paramedic, Swiftwater Rescue Technician Instructor, Basic Life Support Instructor, Advanced Cardiac Life Support Instructor and Pediatric Advanced Life Support Instructor, as well as a PADI Open Water Diver instructor, lifeguard, search and rescue specialist. I regularly teach for a health and safety consulting company specializing on industrial emergency response teams development. Feel free to contact me anytime. I am just an e-mail away from you!


Volunteer for Fire Department's Special Operations Division, Team Leader and active member of an all-volunteer water rescue team and instructor for a training company. I am also a rescue specialist for our local Urban Search and Rescue Task Force.

National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians (NAEMT), National Association for Search and Rescue (NASAR).

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