How Carbon Monoxide Detector Can Be A Life Saver
Carbon monoxide is odorless, tasteless and colorless flammable gas that is emitted due to incomplete combustion of carbon. It is like a pride of sin that silently and slowly kills you without you even knowing. According to CDC surveys, at least 430 die annually due to CO poisoning and around 50,000 people visit the emergency department every year in the USA, which makes CO the second most common cause of non-medical poisoning death.
Instead of these growing statics and encouraging government laws, only 60 percent of houses are equipped with carbon monoxide detectors. People willingly spend thousands of dollars to buy the best golf clubs or best mountain bikes for their hobbies but are not interested in buying carbon monoxide detectors which can save them and their families from any unfortunate incidents.
Common Sources Of Carbon Monoxide
Any appliance that produces heat energy with fuels like wood, gas, oil, propane or diesel, emits carbon monoxide. Appliances such as generators, and gas heaters, emits CO and are commonly used in homes and can put your family at risk easily. To be safe from this silent poisonous killer every household should have a carbon monoxide detector, even if there are no-fuel burning appliances in the house. Here are some commonly used appliances that emit carbon monoxide.
- Oil and gas furnaces
- Motor vehicles
- Stove/Gas range
- Gas line leaks
- Gas water heaters
- Space heaters
- Charcoal grills
- Fireplaces and woodstoves
- Space heaters
Medical Effects Of Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs when carbon monoxide is inhaled by a person. When too much carbon monoxide is in the air, it clings the blood and reduces carrying oxygen to body tissues including vital organs like heart and brain.
Carbon monoxide converts the oxygen-carrying hemoglobin into carboxyhemoglobin in our body by replacing oxygen in our red blood cells with carbon monoxide. This can even lead to serious tissue damage or death. Here are some common signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Mild headache
- Blurred vision
- Shortness of breath
Carbon monoxide poisoning can be more dangerous particularly for people who are sleeping; they may have irreversible brain damage.
Main Risk Factor
Exposure to carbon monoxide may be particularly dangerous for people like:
- Unborn Babies: – Fetal blood cells of unborn babies are more likely to take carbon monoxide than adult’s blood cells do. Hence, they are more susceptible to harm from carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Children: – Young children breathe fast then adult does, so they tend to inhale more ratio of carbon monoxide when compared to an adult. This makes them more susceptible to carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Older Adults: – Older adults who experience exposure to CO poisoning are more likely to have brain damage.
- People With Chronic Heart Disease: – People with heart diseases or asthma are more likely to get sick fast from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Precautions From CO Poisoning
Simple precautions to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Never leave your car running in the garage, when doors are closed.
- Do not use gas stoves or oven to heat your home. Use portable gas camp stoves outdoors only.
- Do proper maintenance of all the fuel-burning appliances. At least do a yearly checkup of them, especially if your furnace.
All the above precautions can surely minimize the chances of exposure to carbon monoxide, but still, there are high rates of sudden failures that may lead to some life-threatening incidents. To avoid such sudden failures installing a carbon monoxide detector could be an ideal choice.
Installation Of Carbon Monoxide Detector
There are two types of detectors easily available in the market – plug-in and hard-wired. The ideal model of CO detector for any house will be the combination of these two types. Installation methods for Plug-ins- all you have to do is insert a fresh pair of batteries and plug the unit at an outlet that does not have any obstruction. Whereas, hard-wired models need some pro electrician skill and understanding.
Tips For Best Results
- Do not install CO detectors in areas that have high humidity, or also install the best humidifier with it for an accurate result.
- The temperature of the area where you want to install CO detectors should have a ranging of 40 Fahrenheit to 100 Fahrenheit (neither below it nor above it).
- Install the unit within the 20 feet of the fuel-burning appliances.
- Make sure to read the manufacturer’s recommendation before installing, as some are recommended to be installed below the level of 5 feet from floor while others are recommended on or near the ceiling for ideal results.
- Install the detectors that show the level of CO gas present in the room so you can take action accordingly.
Tips For Maintenance
- Clean each unit of carbon monoxide detectors once in a month.
- Replace the batteries periodically (within 6 months).
- Make sure to replace each detector before they hit their expiry date (.i.e. is mostly 4-5 years).
Carbon monoxide is a silent killer, you will not even have a hint that this gas is destroying you and your dear ones. As the fact is that we cannot detect CO leakage on ourselves. So, it is a must to have carbon monoxide detectors to have a secure and healthy environment for your family. Because carbon monoxide detectors are a lifesaver when it comes to CO poisoning. Make sure to have the proper installation and do maintenance periodically for best results.