How to reset a carbon monoxide detector

A carbon monoxide detector detects the presence of CO in its immediate environment. Since carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, it becomes challenging for humans to determine its presence.

A CO detector will alert you when the gas spreads in your room to unsafe levels. But sometimes, the device can stay on after an alarm alert and make too much noise.

The detector could also malfunction and fail to detect the gas. When that happens, the best thing to do is to reset it.

You can reset a carbon monoxide detector after a power outage, replacing batteries, or false alarm. Note that before you decide that an alarm is false and the detector needs resetting, try to find out if there are indeed high carbon monoxide levels in your house.

If there are traces, identify the gas source, remove it, and ventilate the area. Alternatively, avoid rushing to reset the carbon monoxide detector, rather go outside to get some fresh air.

When to reset a carbon monoxide detector?

You can reset your carbon monoxide detector when any of the following things happen:

  • The batteries have fully charged from a very low or no charge.
  • The batteries have dropped below a specific threshold.
  • The alarm goes off after detecting CO levels.
  • After testing the alarm to ensure it is working well.
  • Internal defects.

Some CO detectors have a limited lifespan. When the devices reach their end of the cycle, they will beep or chirp continuously, forcing you to reset them all the time or replace them.

How to reset a carbon monoxide detector

Carbon monoxide detectors come in different types and have varying features. That means the reset process is not the same.

To get your carbon monoxide detector to stop beeping:

  • Connect the device to a power source or insert new batteries.
  • If the unit had detected CO gas, wait for it to dissipate or move the device to an area without the carbon monoxide.
  • Locate a reset button on the device.
  • Push and hold the button for at least ten seconds.
  • Release the button to complete the reset.

If the reset is successful, the device will beep or illuminate the LED to suggest it is working well.

How to reset a First Alert carbon monoxide detector

If you own a First Alert CO detector, here’s a guide to reset it. Before you start, note that the detector has two buttons with an LCD display. One button has a label called Peak level and the other is labeled Test. But if you are using a ceiling-mounted device, it will have one button.

  • Press and hold the buttons labeled peak level and text simultaneously for a First Alert detector with LCD.
  • Keep holding the buttons until it beeps.
  • The LCD will show the numbers 000.

Once the unit displays 000, it has reset and is ready to use.

If you are using a ceiling-mounted First Alert carbon monoxide detector:

  • Press the button labeled test/reset for at least ten seconds.
  • Hold the button until you hear a beep to signal it has finished resetting.

You can also use the above procedures to reset the carbon monoxide detector after changing the battery.

If the alarm in your CO detector goes off frequently, it does not mean the device has malfunctioned. It could mean it has detected high levels of toxic gas. Therefore, go outside and ventilate your room.

Why green light stays on a First Alert carbon monoxide detector

When your home experiences a power outage, surge, brownout, or an issue with the power, your First Alert plug-in CO detector alarm will go through a power cycle.

It will keep flashing and remain constant for around five minutes. Once done, the green light stays on a carbon monoxide detector for a continuous period.

But when you see the detector flashing red light, it means the device is receiving enough battery power. If the red light does not flash, change the batteries in the alarm system.

To reset a carbon monoxide detector, check the type of device and model number before you apply the correct procedure. We’ve provided the normal process and a guide for resetting the First Alert CO detector. You should also place the CO detector in recommended areas to avoid false alarms.

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