Carbon monoxide detectors not required in Tennessee homes

Fire officials recommended anyone with gas appliances to also have carbon monoxide detectors.
Published: May. 26, 2022 at 7:08 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - Housing contractors stressed the importance of carbon monoxide detectors after a Maryville couple died due to carbon monoxide poisoning in the Bahamas, according to officials with the Royal Bahamas Police. The detectors were not required in the country and they’re also not required in Tennessee.

The detectors were not any bigger than a smart phone and usually only take two AA batteries, but they’re something that could save family’s lives.

“If you don’t have an alarm in your house, you can go to sleep and you will not wake up,” owner and contractor of A1 Certified Michele Thomas said.

Thomas said detectors were necessary in specific areas of the home which included near any gas appliances, vents or a garage.

“Set off my alarm and let me know before it gets pulled into my air conditioning system. Once it hits that air distribution system, it’s now going throughout the house,” Thomas said.

It can be pretty scary if one of these alarms goes off in a home. It happened to Thomas one time on a call to check out someone’s A/C unit.

“At that point it was dead winter and I’m throwing windows open. Let’s get you some heat in here it’s going to be electric heat. Do not use this unit,” Thomas said.

She said most of the time you hear the detector go off, it’s from dead batteries. Thomas recommended everyone check their batteries every six months. Her business also helps install them if need be.

“Anything that’s gas related so if were doing a gas furnace or a gas package unit, we keep them and ensure that they are installed there as well,” she said.

If people wanted to install the detectors by themselves, it usually costs between $20 to $30. Thomas said putting the device about 4-5 feet up on the wall. This allowed it to be high enough so small children aren’t able to detach it easily, according to Thomas. She also does not recommend the plug in detectors for the same reason.

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