In order to keep you and your family safe, it’s wise to invest in a reliable carbon monoxide detector. High levels of the gas can cause serious health risks for anyone who’s exposed, especially if the exposure happens repeatedly, such as small amounts over weeks, months, or years.
What is Carbon Monoxide?
Carbon Monoxide is a gas that’s both odorless and colorless, so you can’t detect it with your senses. It is found in many natural sources, such as forest fires, volcanoes, and more. Several products also emit carbon monoxide, such as stoves and other household appliances. When ignited, carbon monoxide is easy to see because it burns with a blue flame.
What is Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
Carbon monoxide is harmless at low concentrations, but at higher concentrations it’s extremely dangerous to both people and animals. When too much is inhaled, carbon monoxide poisoning will result. This can lead to confusion, dizziness, headaches, memory loss, brain damage, heart problems and much more. In extreme cases, it can also cause death. In a pregnant woman, carbon monoxide poisoning can also have serious health risk to the fetus.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Since carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless, it cannot be seen or smelled. Carbon monoxide detectors were invented to solve this problem. These detectors can measure the concentration of carbon monoxide in an environment and sound an alarm if the levels reach dangerous quantities.
They’re available in a wide range of models to suit the specific needs of each individual and family. Some models have visual indicators, test buttons, and many more features. It’s generally a good idea to choose a detector that records the concentration of carbon monoxide in the air. These models make it easier for a trained professional, such as a gas technician, to troubleshoot the source of carbon monoxide leaks and quickly fix the root of the problem.
You also have the option of hard-wired detectors. If you decide to purchase one of these, make sure it has a back-up battery. This ensures that it’ll still work if the power goes out and keep everyone protected. Dual models, that are both a carbon monoxide detector and a smoke detector, also exist.
Where Should a Carbon Monoxide Detector be Placed?
Once you’ve picked out your detector, the next important consideration is where to place it within your home. The first thing to keep in mind is that it shouldn’t be placed above a fuel-burning appliance. Fuel-burning appliances emit small amounts of carbon monoxide, so the concentrations in these areas are a little higher and will give you an overestimate of carbon monoxide in the environment.
It’s important to place your carbon monoxide detector close to the home’s sleeping area, about 10 to 20 feet away. This keeps everyone safe during the middle of the night, in case a leak happens. Ideally, you should also have a detector on each level of your home for added protection.
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and potentially dangerous gas. Carbon monoxide detectors can keep your family protected from carbon monoxide poisoning around the clock.