Do Smoke Alarms Detect Carbon Monoxide?

Do smoke alarms detect carbon monoxide? No, a smoke alarm will not detect carbon monoxide and will not alert you if there is a build up of carbon monoxide in your home, unless it’s a combination smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector.

A smoke alarm or smoke detector is designed and manufactured to detect smoke particles in the atmosphere, which are typically created through combustion or fire. This detection is done through photoelectric or ionization sensors, and will alarm when even the smallest amount of smoke is detected.

A carbon monoxide detector is designed and manufactured to measure carbon monoxide levels, and use different sensing mechanisms, such as electrochemical sensors, metal oxide semiconductors, or biomimetic sensors, to detect, measure and alert when carbon monoxide levels are too high.

To detect carbon monoxide and smoke, you’ll need a seperate carbon monoxide detector and a seperate smoke alarm, or a combination detector that will detect and alarm when smoke or carbon monoxide is detected.

can smoke detectors detect carbon monoxide

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Do Smoke Alarms Detect Carbon Monoxide?

As I have already answered, smoke alarms or smoke detectors do not detect carbon monoxide.

If you only have a smoke alarm in your home, then it’s advisable to purchase a carbon monoxide detector as soon as possible.

A carbon monoxide detector is just as important, if not, more important than a smoke detector, and that’s because you can’t see, smell, taste or feel carbon monoxide if there is a leak.

FACT: 54% of homes in the UK don’t have a Carbon Monoxide detector, according to a household survey conducted in 2021 by the government.

If you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector, then the only thing that might alert you is feeling unwell.

And the key word here is ‘might’.

Because the problem with this is the fact that symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are very similar to other common symptoms, such as headaches, drowsiness and an upset stomach.

These symptoms are often put down to not drinking enough water, or eating something that was slightly off. They are not naturally associated with carbon monoxide poisoning.

And that’s what makes carbon monoxide so dangerous – and deadly.

I’ve already written an article on the best carbon monoxide detectors to buy for your home, as well as doing a review on the world’s smallest carbon monoxide detector.

My advice is very simple: If you already have a smoke detector, but you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector, order yourself one today.

Smoke And Carbon Monoxide Combination Alarm

If you somehow don’t have a smoke detector in your home, and you want an all in one solution (smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector in one device), then you can buy one from places like Amazon.

There’s a few combination alarms on the market that offer an all in one solution for detecting smoke and carbon monoxide, like the one below, by trusted safety brand Kidde.

Kidde 10SCO Combination Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm with Voice Notification
4,807 Reviews
Kidde 10SCO Combination Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm with Voice Notification
  • Alarms should be tested by pressing the test button in accordance with the supplied instructions.
  • Reliable performance

When choosing any safety device like this, I nearly always recommend trusted brands with a good reputation, with long established, trustworthy products.

Combination alarms will only increase in popularity in the coming years, when people move away from having an individual detector for each danger.


It is essential that you have at least two types of detectors in your home: smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Ideally, you should have a third type of detector too; a heat detector for use in kitchens.

This provides full protection for you and your family, and covers all of the biggest risks you’ll face in your home.

For most people that suffer a house fire, or have a lucky escape with carbon monoxide poisoning, their thinking was always the same: It will never happen to me.

Don’t become a statistic, and don’t put your family in danger. If you don’t have the detectors I have listed above, make putting it right the next action you take.

And I’ve made it easy for you. I’ve listed each type of detector below in easy to understand articles, which outline the best of each detector that will be delivered to your door stress free, tomorrow.

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Stay Safe. Stay Secure.


My name is Richard.

I'm 40 years old. And I have nearly 20 years experience in various safety and security industries.

I'm here for you, sharing all my knowledge and experience to help you create a safe and secure home for you and your family.

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