Why It’s Time To Replace Your Carbon Monoxide Alarm

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In partnership with Kidde.

A home is a place for laughs, love and feeling safe.

As parents, Pete and I take all of those things very seriously. Safety is always something we are thinking of. I’ve been a resident of California since I was born, and Pete has been here just about 20 years. When California Senate Bill 183 went into effect on July 1, 2011, making it mandatory for all California homes to have a carbon monoxide alarm installed, we were already way ahead of them. We’ve had them throughout our home for as long as I can remember!

One thing I didn’t realize was that they have an expiration date. Did you know that? Over time dust and other airborne contaminants build up in the alarm’s sensing chamber and the buildup interferes with its ability to detect high levels of carbon monoxide within the home. Yikes!

This is important for those of us that have always had them and those that added one to their home when the law happened. Since it is almost 7 years later, those very alarms that were purchased following the law going into effect are going to expire.

Even more importantly, the alarm will start beeping after seven years to indicate the need for replacement. But the tricky part is that the ‘replace me’ beep is all-to-often confused with a ‘low battery’ beep.

Are you following me on all this? I know my head was spinning for a bit.

The facts are that if you have had your alarm for over 7 years or it is coming up on 7 years, it’s time to replace it. If you bought your alarm when the law passed 7 years ago, it’s time to replace it. If you hear it beeping, don’t assume it is low batteries. If it has been close to 7 years, or you can’t even remember when you bought your alarm, it is time to replace it.

Second big point- even if you are outside of California, this is all true for you, too. If you don’t have a carbon monoxide alarm or if yours is close to or over 7 years or you can’t even remember when you bought it… now is the time.

If you need a quick reminder on CO I totally don’t blame you! Here is more info:

CO is produced anytime fuel is burned. Potential sources of CO include the following household items. Heating systems can be particularly dangerous as they are responsible for 65% of CO poisoning deaths from consumer products.

Water heaters
Space heaters
Clothes dryers
Portable generators
Grills used in an enclosed space
Vehicles running in an attached garage

All of these can cause CO to get into your home, that is why you need an alarm.

Not wanting to take any chances with CO poisoning, we just added more Kidde Carbon Monoxide Alarms to our home. We added them near our bedrooms, outside the laundry room, in the kitchen right past the garage door and in the room above the garage.

We also are using one that you plug right into the outlet, which has a battery as a backup in case the power goes out.

These are super easy to install, and they have a lot of other choices, too, so you can find the right one for your home or area in the home.

We also involved the kids in this. We feel it is very important to teach the kids, especially the teens why we have these alarms so when they get their own places later in life they, too, will take this important safety measure.

Of equal importance, we also want kids to know what to do if it beeps, whether that be replacing new batteries to understanding when they need to evacuate the home. Hearing the beep can be scary, but knowledge is power and if know what it means when it beeps and what they need to do, it empowers them to take immediate action.

We love CAL Fire and our firefighters, and I love that Kidde is working hard to drive awareness around the upcoming need for CO alarm replacement with the campaign titled, Beat The Beep. I’m so happy to be helping to share the message, too, that we need to get these alarms replaced ASAP before the 7-year expiration beep starts!

I have a great promo/coupon code to share with you too!

Get a jump start on getting your alarms replaced by using “BEATTHEBEEP” for 20% off all CO and CO combo alarm products on

Heather Reese
the authorHeather Reese
Heather Delaney Reese is the storyteller and photographer behind the lifestyle and family travel blog, It's a Lovely Life®! For the past decade, she has vacationed over 150 days a year with her family. She is a vegan, and loves being by the water, spending time with her children, husband, 2 Shih Tzus and Cat.


  • Good idea. Though I live alone. I don’t have a family but I still need it for myself.

  • We have CO alarms everywhere there might be emissions. It’s silent and deadly, and that’s a combo I want to avoid. Great info.

  • It’s scary to think how many might be putting themselves in danger with expired detectors! This weekend we’ll have to make a point to check on ours and make sure they’re still in good shape.

  • This is a great post for everyone to read. I don’t think that the 7 year expiration is common knowledge, many people were surprised when I mentioned replacing pours a couple years back.

  • Thanks for the reminder! We recently bought a house and there is only one detector on one side of the house, I need to grab some more.

  • Our CO alarms are monitored by our alarm company and I don’t think they have ever told us to change them, which is quite bothersome. I will be contacting them to follow-up about this as I know they are more than 7 years old.

  • This is a must in every home. This is going to give us peace of mind that we will be alerted when an increase in carbon monoxide is present. We have installed ours a few months back and it has given me a more restful sleep at night.

  • I don’t think I even have a co alarm in my house which is super worrying!!! I will have to investigate and go out and get one if not!

  • My husband is a licensed electrician who does the electrical work for 1,000+ apartments in the nearby college town of Boone. Not only does he install carbon monoxide alarms but he installs a lot of smoke alarms. Get in the habit of pushing the “test” button at least once a month. And replace the batteries in smoke alarms once a year….we replace ours around my birthday in August every year whether they need it or not. That being said, if it’s a 7 year or 10 year battery, then replace those every 7 or 10 years. The main thing is to always keep fresh batteries on hand and test the alarms on a regular schedule.

  • I’ve had to move my CO detector because my sons kept unplugging it to plug in other devices! It’s so important to have one on every floor!

  • We don’t have a furnace or internal portable generator but I didn’t realize that all the other heating appliances were also a potential risk. I have read about CO poisoning and alarms however and have thought about installing them in our home.

  • Thank you for the reminder. I didnt know about the 7 year rule or how many things actually emit CO! We have a few of these things.

    I always worry during hurricane season when we use the generators!

  • This is a great reminder for everyone. I think its super important to make sure homes have a carbon monoxide alarm installed!

  • Carbon monoxide alarms at home are very important. We got them around the house and hubby makes sure to check the batteries all the time.

  • Luckily my carbon monoxide alarm is still pretty new, and it runs by being plugged in, not batteries-which I”m grateful for. What I really need to replace is my fire alarms…

  • Great reminder! We have carbon monoxide alarms throughout our house but we never really think to change or replace them and it’s SO important.

  • This is a great reminder thank you! We have always had c/o detectors but it’s great to be reminded to check them, it’s something I always forget to schedule in.

  • This is such a good reminder. Placing multiple alarms in different rooms around the house is a good idea!

  • I think that it is one of the most important things for a house to have! I have always had them in my house. This is a great reminder to check mine and see if they need to be replaced!

  • OMG I love your family! They need to be models! And I totally love this reminder to replace the alarm… I’m doing that this weekend!

  • We use natural gas heat in our home so it’s a must that we have a carbon monoxide detector. You can’t be too safe.

  • I always forget to replace my carbon monoxide alarm! Safety is definitely the most important thing.

  • So important to keep that in mind and be alert for changes too! Loved your post and all the info in it!

  • We just got a new one. It shows the level detected even if the levels are too low to go off.

  • Super good reminder! I actually had to set a reminder on my phone to replace/check our carbon monoxide alarm and fire alarm batteries.

  • I did not realize these had expiration dates either. I will be checking ours tomorrow. Thanks for the info.

  • thank you for the reminder. I have to do this! I can’t remember the last time I did it.

  • I just replaced mine recently. It’s so important to keep them up to date

  • Definable something I forget to take care of. Thanks for the reminder. Will have to check them this week and make sure everything is working as it should.

  • We don’t have a carbon monoxide alarm right now. It’s something that we really need to do!

  • This is a good idea especially for a busy mom like me. Although to be honest, it’s my first time to heard about a carbon monoxide alarm.

  • We just put ours up! My (Crystal) brother is an EMT and he made sure we had one. It truly can save lives.

  • Thank you for the reminder! My family had a Scare on Christmas. New furnace, something went wrong. Luckily, we had a carbon monoxide monitor and the alarm went off. I thought it was the low battery alert in smoke detector. When it went off the second time I knew what it was and we called the fire dept. We were told to get our family out now.
    When the firefighters arrived they had to wear masks, that’s how high the cm level was in the house and we never knew. We would of gone to sleep and none of us would of survived it. After reading your blog. I’ll be buying my entire family new ones. Thank you.

  • Thank you for drawing awareness to this issue! I would like to add that it is also important to get a portable CO detector to take with you when you travel. NEVER assume that the places you are staying in have maintained, or even installed, detectors. Also, never assume they have maintained, or correctly repaired, appliances that produce this toxic gas. A little over 1 year ago my uncle and aunt stayed in a hotel overnight. Late the next morning they were both found lying in the floor of their hotel room, unresponsive. They were the victims of CO poisoning due to a negligence of the hotel staff. They were flown to a larger hospital nearby. Over the next week they both finally woke up. However, they were never to recover. In just a few months, my aunt passed away due to complications of the severe CO poisoning. Then just a few days before Christmas last year, my uncle passed away as well due to CO poisoning. They were active, lively, and healthy adults in their 60s. They loved scuba diving, horseback riding, and their grandkids. The point is, they were strong and this toxic gas did horrific damage to their bodies. PLEASE, install and maintain CO detectors in your houses, but also, please take one along when you travel!

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