Is It Time to Replace Your Boat’s Carbon Monoxide Detector(s)?

Is It Time to Replace Your Boat’s Carbon Monoxide Detector(s)?

This is a good time to remind you about how important it is to have and maintain a Carbon Monoxide Detector on board in any marine environment. Wherever fossil-fueled equipment (engine, generator, gasoline engine, diesel, etc.) is in use, it will produce Carbon Monoxide as a natural byproduct.

Carbon Monoxide is odorless, colorless, tasteless, and potentially lethal. The only way to know if you or your guests are at risk is with a Carbon Monoxide Detector.

If your onboard CO Detector is 5 years old, it may no longer operate correctly. Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL for short), instituted a mandate approximately five years ago, outlining the End of Life Standard for Carbon Monoxide Detectors to protect users from the danger of boat operation without accurate means of detecting this potentially deadly gas. Approximately five years after activation, your Carbon Monoxide Detector will enter the EOL (End of Life) phase of its existence. If your detector is beeping intermittently and/or showing a red (instead of green) LED light, it is time to replace it.

According to the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC), a carbon monoxide detector must be installed on all boats with an enclosed accommodation compartment. Accommodation compartment is defined as one contiguous space, surrounded by permanent structure that contains all the following: a. designated sleeping accommodations, b. a galley area with sink, and c. a head compartment.  NOTE: A cuddy intended for gear storage and open passenger cockpits, with or without canvas enclosures, is not considered to be an enclosed compartment. Detectors shall be located in the main cabin area and each separate sleeping area to constantly monitor the atmosphere.