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Let's talk about your carbon monoxide detector

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Besides being the time of year when we're most likely to spend entire weekends hunkered down in our apartments, January is also the most dangerous month when it comes to accidental carbon monoxide poisonings, according to the Center for Disease Control. So no time like the present to make sure your building (or at least your apartment) is up to snuff on its safety.

As of 2011, Local Law 75 requires building owners or boards to provide, install, and replace carbon monoxide detectors in each apartment, as Habitat Magazine points out, so if your apartment doesn't have one, it's time to talk to the landlord (or the board) and get one installed ASAP. Once you have a detector,  it's your responsibility to test it, replace the batteries twice a year, and generally keep it in working condition. The city has explanations and tips here and here, including the handy suggestion that detectors be placed no more than 15 feet from each bedroom in a home—that way, you'll still be able to hear them if they go off while you're snoozing.

It's all straightforward enough, and can translate into a 10-minute weekend resolution to check up on your detector, and if need be, swap out the batteries for a fresh set. It all sounds a lot more painless than an elaborate "weekend DIY" project, no?

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