Carbon Monoxide Alarm & Carbon Monoxide Detector for RVs, Homes & Apartments, CO Alarms and CO Detectors


Are all carbon monoxide alarms the same?

False Alarms are not just a nuisance problem. False Alarms are a life safety issue. The Gas Research Institute conducted a study which shows that 70% of the people who experienced a False Alarm will not respond to the next alarm. If the next alarm is real they will likely die.

The best CO alarms are “false-alarm” free to common household gases and vapors, typically disinfectants, insecticides, air fresheners, cleaners, and polishing products. False alarms can cause people to ignore the CO alarm, or even turn it off, which could lead to serious injury or death.

The dangers of false alarms

The New York Times has reported on the risk of ignoring CO alarms. In this case, a CO alarm had gone off, but it turned out to be a false alarm. The second time the alarm went off, the owner of the alarm, a doctor, simply unplugged the unit and went out to dinner while his four children and their babysitter stayed home. Tragically, when he returned home, all five had died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Only one technology has been shown to be false-alarm free by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), the leading national laboratory for indoor air quality(9).

Quantum’s biotechnology (sometimes referred to as biomimetic or BIO) sensor is the only false alarm free technology available.  This is a patented technology and is available on this website or by calling 800-432-5599. It is also available in Universal Security Instruments model CD9000  The LBNL carbon monoxide technology comparison summary paper is written for ease of understanding by a non-scientist.  It shows how only the BIO sensor or biotechnology by Quantum is the most reliable and the only technology tested false alarm free. The Gas Research Institute and Unified Engineering performed additional testing to compare the three CO alarm technologies: biotechnology (BIO), electrochemical (EC), and metal oxide semiconductor (MOS). Only the  biotechnology sensor based alarm manufactured by  Quantum Group Inc. was found to be totally false-alarm free.  The BIO sensors are included in the follow products:

  • Quantum Guardian® (all models)
  • COSTAR® (all models)
  • Universal Security Inc. (USI) Model CD9000

If you have ever had a false alarm with your current CO alarms, it’s time to switch to a false-alarm free biotechnology CO alarm.

Technologies Advantages Disadvantages Notes
Biotechnology Solid State Infrared Sensors ·         The only technology tested false alarm free to common household gases, vapors from common products

·         Operational in wide ranges of temperature and humidity

·         Excellent selectivity

·         Fail safe

·         Low powered



·         Slightly higher price

·         Market potential for existing and new markets is expected to grow

·         Over 30 million sensors sold

Metal Oxide Semiconductor (MOS) ·         Well established and understood technology

·         Designing a product for a new specification is simple

·         Ease of digitization

·         Large power consumption

·         Relatively poor selectivity – susceptible to certain house-hold reducing gases such as ethylene

·         Poor response at low temperature and low humidity

·         New market potential is seriously limited due to power requirements
Electrochemical Sensors ·         Very sensitive technology

·         Relatively fast response to CO

·         Relatively well established technology

·         Low power consumption

·         Ease of digitization

·         Poor selectivity – highly susceptible to common household products

·         Degradation of catalyst performance may be a long term problem – sensitivity drift over time

·         Fail unsafe mechanism

·         Poor response at high temperature and low humidity

·         False alarm to common household vapor and gases

·         With more exposure to CO, it becomes less sensitive to CO