One of the most frequently asked questions in Google about CO detectors is “Why is my carbon monoxide alarm going off?”

It seems lots of people are having issues with their carbon monoxide alarms and wondering whether the sound is indeed a warning or just a false alarm.

One person left this worrying comment on an online forum:

“On Christmas Eve my CO alarm went off, even though we did not have the heating on. Is there any way to test if the CO alarm is working correctly? In the end I had to take out the batteries to stop the noise. It did scare us, though!”

Forget the alarm noise scaring you, the part about taking the batteries out is what scares us! As soon as you take those batteries out, you are vulnerable.

The device is making a noise for a reason, so let’s take a look at some causes for the unwanted beeping so that you can get to the root of the problem.

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Why Is My Carbon Monoxide Alarm Going Off?

Your carbon monoxide alarm is going off for one of the following reasons:

  • It is doing its job properly and detects CO pollution in the air
  • It is a false alarm caused by other household items
  • The detector is malfunctioning or the batteries need changing

Let’s look at each bullet point in more depth to help you resolve the unwanted beeping. After all, you don’t want your carbon monoxide alarm going off all day and night!

carbon monoxide alarm going off

It is doing its job properly

The first conclusion we’d all jump to when our carbon monoxide alarm is going off is that it can detect traces of CO in the atmosphere.

Whether it’s from your own house or a neighbours house, CO is getting into your home somehow.

In this circumstance, you should follow these steps immediately to reduce the risk of CO poisoning, which can be deadly if you are exposed for long periods!

  1. Turn off all appliances. Cookers, fireplaces, central heating etc
  2. Immediately get fresh air into the property by opening all doors and windows
  3. Call a qualified technician to find the route of the problem and address it before using that appliance again
  4. If anyone is experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms, such as dizziness, vomiting and headaches, call the fire department and immediately move to a location with fresh air
  5. Do not re-enter the property until it has been thoroughly aired out and the appliances have been checked and fixed by a professional

In most cases, your alarm will only be triggered if a fuel burning appliance has not been regularly serviced by a professional with a Gas Safe accreditation, and is running inefficiently. Otherwise, this leads us on to our next point…

Your carbon monoxide detector is giving out false alarms

In domestic properties, your CO alarm can be triggered by any fuel burning appliance such as gas cookers, boilers and ovens. All of these appliances give off small traces of CO, but the levels can rise slightly when adequate ventilation isn’t provided, or the venting is blocked or clogged by dust.

In addition to this, some cheap carbon monoxide detectors can be set off by Hydrogen gas and some even claim that large quantities of petrol fumes can trigger false alarms.

When you have bought a cheap, stand-alone CO detector online, you will be reliant on the user manual to decipher whether the alarm is false or not. You will have to read the instructions carefully to ensure that the alarm isn’t in fact a real one!

Otherwise you will jump to conclusions and assume it is a real alarm, follow the steps we listed above and cause a massive hassle over nothing!

By this point in the post, we are subtly hinting that stand alone CO alarms are a bit unreliable…

The batteries need changing or the device is faulty

Another perfectly good reason for the unwanted beeping is that the device is tying to communicate with you…

Please change my batteries, my life span is coming to an end! – beeping CO detector

We covered this in more detail in an earlier post “Why is my smoke detector beeping?

The bottom line – You CANNOT rely on a cheap carbon monoxide alarm

The point of this post was to address your question “Why is my carbon monoxide alarm beeping” and help you find the root of the problem, but also to teach you about the dangers of these cheap devices.

Some people are willing to cut corners to save a few extra quid, like the Essex IT company, and in turn put themselves and their family/employees at risk.

Earlier we discussed the issues regarding false alarms. This is why we do not supply stand-alone devices that most homeowners or landlords purchase for a quick solution.

We only integrate a carbon monoxide alarm with an existing fire alarm system that has been fitted and maintained by one of our qualified engineers.

Because of our NSI GOLD accreditation (the highest level of accreditation in the security industry), we only supply and install products of the highest quality, while maintaining an affordable price.

Don’t let money come between you and your safety. We mentioned briefly before how carbon monoxide poisoning can kill. 

Carbon Monoxide Detectors By Guardian Security & Fire

Whether you just want the carbon monoxide detector added to an existing system or a full fire alarm system fitted by us, we can offer a package tailored to your needs.

Fill out the form below to ask a question or book a free security evaluation.

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