Weekly testing, Regular maintenance, What you need to know about co – First Alert Model GCO1 User Manual

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• NEVER use an open flame of any kind to test this unit. You might

accidentally damage or set fire to the unit or to your home.
The built-in test switch accurately tests the unit’s operation as
required by Underwriters Laboratories, Inc. (UL). NEVER use
vehicle exhaust! Exhaust may cause permanent damage and
voids your warranty.

• DO NOT stand close to the Alarm when the horn is sounding.

Exposure at close range may be harmful to your hearing. When
testing, step away when horn starts sounding.

It is important to test this unit every week to make sure it is working
properly. You can test this Gas/CO Alarm two ways:

1. Manually: Press the Test/Silence button on the Alarm

cover until alarm sounds.

2. Remote Control: Aim your remote control at the Alarm

and press the CHANNEL or VOLUME button.

During testing, you will hear a loud, repeating horn pattern:
1 beep every second, while the Red LED flashes and the
display shows “GAS”. Then you will hear a loud, repeating
horn pattern: 4 beeps, pause, 4 beeps, pause, while the Red
LED flashes and the display shows “CO” with an increasing
CO ppm number.

If the Alarm does not test properly:
1. Make sure the AC power is applied and battery is fresh and installed


2. Test the unit again.
If the Alarm is still not working properly, replace it immediately. Refer to the
“Limited Warranty” at the end of this manual.

If there is still a problem, do not try to fix the Alarm yourself. This will
void your warranty!


Use only the replacement batteries listed below. The unit may not operate
properly with other batteries. Never use rechargeable batteries since they
may not provide a constant charge.

This unit has been designed to be as maintenance-free as possible, but there
are a few simple things you must do to keep it working properly:

Test it at least once a week.

Clean the Alarm at least once a month; gently vacuum the outside of the
Alarm using your household vacuum’s soft brush attachment. Test the
Alarm. Never use water, cleaners or solvents since they may damage the

Relocate the unit if it sounds frequent unwanted alarms. See “Where This
Alarm Should Not Be Installed” for details.

When the battery back-up becomes weak, the Alarm will “chirp” about
once a minute (the low battery warning). You should replace the battery
immediately to continue your protection. This Alarm must have AC or
battery power to operate. If AC power fails, and the battery is dead
or missing, the Alarm cannot operate.

DO NOT spray cleaning chemicals or insect sprays directly on or near the
Alarm. DO NOT paint over the Alarm. Doing so may permanently damage the


Your Alarm requires one standard 9V alkaline battery. The following batteries
are acceptable as replacements: Duracell #MN1604, (Ultra) #MX1604;
Eveready (Energizer) #522. These batteries are available at many local
retail stores.

Actual battery service life depends on the Alarm and the environment in which
it is installed. All the batteries specified above are acceptable replacement
batteries for this unit. Regardless of the manufacturer’s suggested battery life,
you MUST replace the battery immediately once the unit starts “chirping” (the
“low battery warning”).



CO is an invisible, odorless, tasteless gas produced when fossil fuels do not
burn completely, or are exposed to heat (usually fire). Electrical appliances
typically do not produce CO.

These fuels include: Wood, coal, charcoal, oil, natural gas, gasoline, kerosene,
and propane.

Common appliances are often sources of CO. If they are not properly main-
tained, are improperly ventilated, or malfunction, CO levels can rise quickly.
CO is a real danger now that homes are more energy efficient. “Air-tight”
homes with added insulation, sealed windows, and other weatherproofing
can “trap” CO inside.


These symptoms are related to CO POISONING and should be discussed
with ALL household members.

Mild Exposure: Slight headache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue (“flu-like” symptoms).

Medium Exposure: Throbbing headache, drowsiness, confusion, fast heart rate.

Extreme Exposure: Convulsions, unconsciousness, heart and lung failure.
Exposure to Carbon Monoxide can cause brain damage, death.

Some individuals are more sensitive to CO than others, including people
with cardiac or respiratory problems, infants, unborn babies, pregnant
mothers, or elderly people can be more quickly and severely affected by
CO. Members of sensitive populations should consult their doctors for
advice on taking additional precautions.


Fuel-burning appliances
portable heater, gas or
wood burning fireplace, gas
kitchen range or cooktop,
gas clothes dryer.

Damaged or insufficient
corroded or discon-
nected water heater vent
pipe, leaking chimney pipe
or flue, or cracked heat
exchanger, blocked or
clogged chimney opening.

Improper use of appliance/
operating a barbecue
grill or vehicle in an enclosed
area (like a garage or
screened porch).

Transient CO Problems: “transient” or on-again-off-again CO problems can
be caused by outdoor conditions and other special circumstances.

The following conditions can result in transient CO situations:

1. Excessive spillage or reverse venting of fuel appliances caused by outdoor

conditions such as:

• Wind direction and/or velocity, including high, gusty winds. Heavy air in

the vent pipes (cold/humid air with extended periods between cycles).

• Negative pressure differential resulting from the use of exhaust fans.

• Several appliances running at the same time competing for limited fresh


• Vent pipe connections vibrating loose from clothes dryers, furnaces, or

water heaters.

• Obstructions in or unconventional vent pipe designs which can amplify

the above situations.

2. Extended operation of unvented fuel burning devices (range, oven, fireplace).

3. Temperature inversions, which can trap exhaust close to the ground.

4. Car idling in an open or closed attached garage, or near a home.

These conditions are dangerous because they can trap exhaust in your home.
Since these conditions can come and go, they are also hard to recreate during
a CO investigation.


Carbon monoxide is an odorless, invisible gas, which often makes it difficult
to locate the source of CO after an alarm. These are a few of the factors that
can make it difficult to locate sources of CO:

• House well ventilated before the investigator arrives.

• Problem caused by “backdrafting.”

• Transient CO problem caused by special circumstances.

Because CO may dissipate by the time an investigator arrives, it may be difficult
to locate the source of CO. BRK Brands, Inc. shall not be obligated to pay
for any carbon monoxide investigation or service call.