Need Of Carbon Monoxide Detector In Your House
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless and tasteless toxic gas that has no odor. It is a silent killer, as it cannot be easily detected—the gas releases during the incomplete combustion of carbon. According to estimates, around 430 people die every year due to carbon monoxide poisoning in the US. It exists in fumes produced in furnaces, charcoal burners, car exhaust, kerosene stoves, generators, and many other household things.
Therefore, people must know the risks involved in the use of carbon monoxide. Furthermore, for the safety of the house members, it is necessary to install a carbon monoxide detector in every house.
This article will introduce you to the topics like meaning and sources of carbon monoxide, symptoms, need for carbon monoxide detector, and installation and maintenance of carbon monoxide detector.
What is Carbon Monoxide?
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, scentless, and insipid flammable, toxic gas released during the incomplete burning of carbon. It is regarded as the second most common reason for non-medical poisoning death worldwide.
Sources of carbon monoxide
Devices that produce heat energy with fuels such as wood, gas, oil, diesel, etc., releases carbon monoxide. It is essential to know the sources that emit carbon monoxide and causes poisoning. Some of the sources are:
- Motor vehicles
- Fireplaces and woodstoves
- Charcoal grills
- Grills, garden equipment, power generators
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning
Inhaling carbon monoxide can be extremely hazardous or even fatal for human life. Carbon monoxide mixes with other gases, and thus an individual cannot detect it easily. The prime victim of this silent killer are children and older people. Initially, one does not notice the symptoms, but slowly and gradually, they become severe and may even lead to permanent brain damage. Some of the common symptoms are:
Precautions to be taken in case of carbon monoxide poisoning
Here are some of the safety measures to be taken to protect yourself from carbon monoxide poisoning:
- Install carbon monoxide detectors as soon as possible.
- Get your carbon monoxide detectors regularly tested to ensure their efficiency and to check whether they are working correctly or not.
- Get your heating appliances checked at regular intervals, and their proper cleaning needs to be insured.
- Minimize your carbon monoxide exposure by getting UI- listed devices.
- Venting your fuel-burning appliances will ensure the safe exit of carbon monoxide gas from your house.
- Make an emergency exit plan in case if the carbon monoxide detector alarm rings.
- Keep your Gas Dryer clean to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Be cautious and alert regarding the damage to the vent pipe.
- Identify carbon monoxide poisoning signs and educate your family members about the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.
- If you are exposed to carbon monoxide poisoning even after taking all precautions, seek immediate medical help.
Measures to be followed in case of carbon monoxide poisoning
- People should take the alarm seriously and must take immediate action.
- One must turn off burning appliances and open doors and windows for ventilation.
- If an individual experiences severe symptom of poisoning, they must completely vacate the house.
- Get into fresh air as soon as you detect signs.
- Immediately look for medical assistance.
- Look for a technician who has experience testing homes for carbon monoxide and who can identify the source.
Most sources of carbon monoxide are present in our households, and therefore it is necessary to ensure the safety of our loved ones. Inhaling too much carbon monoxide replaces the oxygen in your red blood cells with carbon monoxide, which does not reach your tissues and organs, leading to death. It can be fatal, especially for children, older people, and patients.
We can reduce the use of such sources in our houses and ensure proper maintenance of these appliances, but still, there is a high chance of failures which may result in life-threatening accidents. Therefore, the best way to be protected through such conditions is by installing carbon monoxide detectors.
Placement of Carbon monoxide detector
A carbon monoxide detector detects the carbon monoxide level and warns the inhabitants of the poisoning, thus allowing them the time to escape from harm. In addition, detectors contain an alarm that sounds when the level of carbon monoxide becomes dangerous. Here are some ideal places where you must install the sensor:
- There should be at least one detector on each sleeping level of your house.
- There must also be detectors with most gas-burning appliances: a gas furnace, gas water heaters, or gas stove.
- In the living room, which has a high occupancy level.
- Must install in bedrooms that are adjacent to the place containing heating devices.
- Garages at home.
- Bedrooms fitted with chimney or flues.
- They must be at every level and the basement.
- They must be in rooms that have portable gas heaters.
Installation and maintenance of carbon monoxide detector
The devices can be battery operated, or AC powered. Their position must be near the ceiling or the floor as carbon monoxide has approximately the same density as air. The detector should be at least five feet from any gas-fueled appliance.
Installation location and procedure may differ depending upon the manufacturer’s recommendations based on research conducted with each specific detector. Therefore, it is necessary to follow the instruction manual for each sensor before installing it.
Here are some tips for ideal results:
- Avoid installing detectors in high-humid areas.
- The temperature of the place where you want to install the detectors must be ranging from 40 Fahrenheit to 100 Fahrenheit.
- Indeed read the manufacturer’s recommendations and instructions for better results.
- Clean each unit of the detector with a vacuum cleaner or clean brush monthly.
- Replace the batteries within every six months.
- Replace each detector before their expiry date, usually 4-5 years.
- I prefer installing the detectors that detect the level of carbon monoxide gas present in the room to take necessary actions accordingly.
- Do not install detectors in the kitchen, furnace room, garage, or humid environment such as a bathroom.
- Never install them close to stored chemicals or near combustion appliances.
- Test it periodically whether it is working or not.
Carbon monoxide, when inhaled, can mix with your blood quickly, which can be fatal. Furthermore, one cannot easily detect carbon monoxide leakage as it is tasteless and odorless. Therefore, it is necessary to take action regarding carbon monoxide poisoning:
- One must know about carbon monoxide poisoning and the risks involved with it.
- All the sources of carbon monoxide must be regularly checked, cleaned, and maintained properly.
- If you think there is a venting problem or damaged vent pipe, get it checked thoroughly.
- If one feels the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, he must take immediate remedial steps to ensure the safety of the members of your house.
Apart from all these actions or safety measures, installing carbon monoxide detectors in your house is extremely important. Therefore, one must consider the need, placement, installation, and maintenance of these detectors. Thus to conclude, every home with even one fuel-burning appliance or heater, attached garage, or fireplace must have a carbon monoxide detector installed to prevent yourself and your family members from carbon monoxide poisoning.