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Carbon Monoxide Detection

Home > Home Security > Carbon Monoxide Detection

One of the dangers in the home is carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning can overcome residents unexpectedly. It is often referred to as the "silent killer". CO is an odorless, tasteless and colorless gas that is undetectable by humans. In other words you can't see it, smell it and you don't know it is there until after it has started to affect you.

What is Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?  There are many ways that carbon monoxide can be produced in a home environment. These include malfunctioning appliances such as gas stoves, water heaters, space heaters, gas or oil furnaces. In addition sources of CO are wood stoves, clogged chimney or bad ventilation in a garage. CO is produced and emitted by incomplete burning of fuel (propane, gasoline, oil, natural gas, kerosene, charcoal and wood).

How Can I detect Carbon Monoxide? There are a lot of different types of carbon monoxide detectors available and they are not that expensive. These detectors are available as a stand-alone item or they can be tied into your home security system.

Integrate CO Detectors into Your Home Security System. CO detectors can be integrated into your home security system. This ensures that a local home alarm will sound but if you have a central alarm monitoring service contract they will be notified as well and respond accordingly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
about Carbon Monoxide in the Home

When am I most at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning? Usually at night when there is little exchange of air from the outside and inside of the house. Most times as you are sleeping.

How can I tell if carbon monoxide poisoning is starting to affect me? There are few indications although some symptoms resemble the flu. Headaches, tightness of chest, fatigue, dizziness, breathing problems, and high blood pressure.

How can I prevent carbon monoxide poisoning? Keep your appliances well maintained and serviced. Have CO detector coverage throughout your residence.

Should I have a hard-wired or battery operated CO detector? There are advantages to both. If you lose power a battery operated detector will still work. A hard-wire detector will not lose battery charge. Perhaps a hard-wired detector with a battery back-up is your best solution.

Where should I place the CO detectors? It is best to have the CO detectors on every level of the house. Ensure that the alarm will wake up everyone in the sleeping areas of the house.

What are some features of a CO detector? If it is a hard-wired detector then ensure it has battery backup. Some batteries can be self-charging. There should be a "Test" button so you know the detector is still functioning properly; however, the test button tests the circuitry and battery not the actual gas detector. Some detectors will offer a digital readout of the levels of CO concentration (in parts per million).

How long will a CO gas detector last? The length is between 2-6 years. They are cheap so change them out every few years.

What do I do if my CO detector goes off? Get out of the house quickly. Seek medical attention if you feel any flu-like symptoms. Before going back into the house air it out by opening windows and doors. Have a specialist or technician inspect your home appliances for any malfunctions.

Other Sources of Information
about Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Carbon Monoxide Detectors. By Wikipedia.

Carbon Monoxide. National Fire Protection Association. . . . carbon-monoxide . . .

How Carbon Monoxide Detectors Work. How Stuff Works. . . . CO Detectors


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