Why Every House In The US Needs A Carbon Monoxide Detector?

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In an average modern US house almost every room has one gas appliance. So every room is at potential risk of Carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is the silent killer. It is odorless, colorless and highly poisonous gas and it can kill you within minutes. Most of the people are renting and basically don’t know the appliances in the house are gas or electric. The best way to know this is to check whether the appliance is plugged into an electric socket, then it is electric otherwise it runs on fuel. 1 in 10 US citizens use natural gas in one of their appliances, like water heater, clothes dryer or stoves and oven. So every house in US needs a carbon monoxide detector.

Do I Only Need One In My Home?

It’s often a misconception that only one CO detector is enough for a home. Ideally a carbon monoxide detector should be placed outside every sleeping area in the house. If you have a multistory house, then CO detector should be placed on every level of the house, even in the basement. The ideal places where you must install the carbon monoxide alarm are as under:

Fit carbon monoxide detector in

  • Living room with high occupancy level.
  • In all bedrooms that are adjacent to a room containing heating appliances.
  • Bedrooms that are fitted with chimney breast or flues.
  • In all rooms that have portable gas heaters.
  • Garages at home.
  • At every level and also in the basement.

Which Appliances Need A Carbon Monoxide Alarm?

Carbon Monoxide Alarm

Carbon monoxide is produced as a byproduct of combustion when the fuel is burned. Which is a common factor in our home appliances which run on fuel. The most common appliances which use fuel for their working are oil or gas furnaces, gas clothes dryers, gas refrigerators, gas water heaters, gas ranges, space heaters, charcoal grills, fireplaces and wood burning stoves. CO is also produced by our vehicles in the garage which can be dangerous if the garage is in joint to the house.

How Often Do I Need To Replace My Alarm?

Every carbon monoxide detector comes with a pre-printed expiry date. But on an average a CO alarm has a life of almost 5-6 years, depending on the quality of the mark. Most of the modern carbon monoxide alarms come with automatic indicator for replacement. So we should be very vigilant with checking the carbon monoxide detector and immediately change it on first sign of damage or wear and tear. One more thing which needs to be checked regularly is the battery of the device if it is battery operated. Because even if the device is functioning properly a dead battery means a dead device.

Where Is The Best Place To Put A Carbon Monoxide Detector?

Carbon Monoxide Detector

Carbon monoxide is lighter than air, so placing CO alarms near the floor is useless. It is effective if you put the CO detector on the ceiling or on the high level of walls. It is often recommended by experts that the CO alarms should not be installed near the burning appliances, it should be installed within at least 15 feet from the fuel appliances. Can also be mounted on ceiling and wall mounting to get a more accurate leak of CO.

What Should Be Done In Case Of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning (When CO Alarm beeps)?

Carbon Monoxide Detector\

A carbon monoxide detector beeps when the CO level in the house or the place where it is installed goes to a dangerous level. The CO alarm beeping should not be ignored and swift action should be taken. If you are having the following symptoms like Headache, Nausea, dizziness, vomiting or confusion, then

  • Call 911 and emergency services.
  • Go to the hospital.
  • Get out of the house at once.

If no occupant in the house is having such symptoms, then

  • Open all windows and doors.
  • Turn off all Gas appliances.
  • Evacuate the building.
  • Reset the CO alarm.

What Precautions And Care Should Be Taken Before And After The CO Alarm Installations?

Carbon monoxide detector is very important and must be handled with care and should be taken care of, as literally your life depends upon these. Utmost attention should be taken before installing the CO alarms and even more alertness should be there after the installation:

  • Check the alarm whether it is functioning or not.
  • Always do regular checkups and the service of the alarm.
  • Replace the alarm as soon as the machine notifies.

Many states in US have made it a law to have Carbon monoxide detector at the house. But still the general awareness about this important element is low among the populace. Every year, more than 400 US citizens lose their life to this silent killer. People spend a fortune on installing other home security devices like home security cameras, fire alarms and even pet cameras and nanny cams, but miss out this vital alarm system, which actually saves their lives from a ferocious killer.

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