Carbon monoxide (CO) detectors can be used as a backup but not as a replacement for proper use and maintenance of you fuel-burning appliances. CO detectors are not generally considered to be as reliable as smoke detectors. You should not choose a CO detector solely on the basis of cost; do some research on different features available.
Carbon monoxide detectors should meet Underwriters Laboratories Inc. standards, have long-term warranty, and be easily self tested and reset to ensure proper functioning. For maximum effectiveness during sleeping hours, carbon monoxide detectors should be placed close to sleeping areas.
If Your CO Detector Goes Off:
- Make sure it is the CO detector and not smoke alarm
- Check to see if any member of your household is experiencing symptoms.
- If they are, get them out of the house immediately and seek medical attention
- If no one is feeling symptoms, ventilate the home with fresh air and turn off all potential sources of CO.
- Have a qualified technician inspect your appliances and chimneys to make sure they are operating correctly.
Don’t ignore symptoms, especially if more than one person is feeling them. If you think you are suffering from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning you should;
Get fresh air immediately. Open doors windows. Turn off combustion appliances and leave house.
Go to an emergency room. Be sure to tell the physician that you suspect CO poisoning.
Be prepared to answer the following questions: Is anyone else in your household complaining of similar symptoms? Did everyone’s symptoms appear about the same time? Are you using any fuel burning appliances in the home? Has anyone inspected your appliances lately? Are you certain they are working properly?
Carbon monoxide interferes with the distribution of oxygen in the blood to the rest of the body. Depending on the amount inhaled the gas can impede coordination, worsen cardiovascular conditions, and produce fatigue, headache, weakness, confusion, disorientation, nausea, and dizziness. High levels can cause death
The symptoms are sometimes confused with the flu or food poisoning, Infants, elderly, and people with heart and respiratory illnesses are particularly at high risk for the adverse health effects of carbon monoxide.
An estimated 1000 people die each year as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning and thousands of others end up in the hospital emergency rooms.
Carbon monoxide is produced as a result of incomplete burning of carbon containing fuels including coal, wood, charcoal, natural gas, and fuel oil. It can be emitted by combustion sources such as unvented kerosene and gas space heaters, furnaces, wood stoves, gas stoves, fireplaces and water heaters, automobile exhaust from attached garages, and tobacco smoke. Problems can arise as a result of improper installation, maintenance, or inadequate ventilation.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas that interferes with the delivery of oxygen in the blood to the rest of the body. It is produced by the incomplete combustion of fuels.