First Alert CO 605 Carbon Monoxide  Plug-In Alarm with Battery Backup

– $24.21 ( On sale from $41.99)

Pros: Battery Backup, Low-Battery Warning, Clear, loud Alarm

Cons: If I come across any – I’ll update

I may have mentioned in an earlier review how terrifying the idea of a house fire is – to everyone, I assume. But according toConsumer Products Safety Commission ” Carbon Monoxide detectors are as important to home safety as smoke detectors”. 

A few weeks ago my carbon monoxide detector began ‘chirping’, signaling it was time to change batteries. After installing new batteries, I was unable to put it back together as it had been. There were crisscross metal tabs inside the case that seem to work on a spring-loaded action, but it just wasn’t going back together properly. I put it in my truck intending to run by the local fire department to see if they could tell, or show me, the problem. In the meanwhile, another reviewer suggested I invest in a new detector, as the older one may have been compromised from fiddling (my words) with it.

Wikipedia ( my go-to site for just about every search) explains that “Carbon monoxide is a product of incomplete combustion of organic matter due to insufficient oxygen to complete the oxidation to carbon dioxide (Co2).” Carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless, tasteless and, in the short-term, non-irritating. Unfortunately “short-term” (referring to minutes) generally isn’t the case – many deaths occur during sleeping hours when we are least aware and therefore, most vulnerable.

Some of the sources of carbon monoxide.


  • Gas-powered tools ( i.e. weed whacker)
  • Portable heaters
  • Older motor vehicles
  • Some cooking equipment ( i.e. barbeques)
  • Faulty furnaces
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Wood-burning stoves
  • Electric generators
  • House fires

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning:

Dizziness, headache, nausea, vertigo, flu-like symptoms, convulsions – and eventually, if not removed from the exposure, death. Fetus’ are severely effected by carbon monoxide.

The following is an exposure chart giving times and resulting symptoms. Thirty-five ppm ( particles per million), a very low dose, can result in headache and dizziness within 6-8 hours.

100 ppm – 2-3 hours – headache

200 ppm – Headache and loss of judgment

800 ppm – Dizziness, nausea, convulsions, insensible within 2 hours

3200 ppm – Death within 30 minutes

6400 ppm – Death within 20 minutes

12,800 ppm – Death within 3 minutes

The article did not state which source produces the greatest amounts of CO, but it seems sensible to use caution when around these sources, especially since the gas is, as stated, odorless, tasteless and colorless.

First Alert CO 605 Carbon Monoxide Detector uses an electrochemical carbon monoxide sensor to detect this deadly gas. The 85 decibel alarm will begin sounding when the level of CO reaches 50 ppm.


  • 120-volt AC plug-in carbon monoxide alarm with battery backup
  • 6′ cord
  • Weighs just 1.1 pounds
  • Low-battery warning
  • End-of-life timer
  • Silent test button
  • Includes one 9-volt battery
  • 7-year warranty
  • 4-star review on Amazon

The Consumer Products Safety Commission suggest at least one alarm per household, or, preferably, one on every level of your home or work environment. The unit should be replaced every five years.

First Alert, Inc.

3901 Liberty St.

Aurora, IL  60504

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