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Why You Need To Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors


Why You Need To Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors

When any kind of liquid or solid fuel is burned, an odorless poisoning gas emits i.e. carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is the second most common cause of non-medical poisoning death. According to the CDC, more than 438 people in the U.S. die annually from carbon monoxide poisoning and above 10,000 are poisoned by it needing urgent medical treatment.

Instead of these growing statics, many parents and house owners still underestimate the need for a carbon monoxide detector.  People spend a good amount of money on home security systems and even to get best trolling motors for their fishing hobby but don’t buy themselves a carbon monoxide detector which can save them from grave danger.  So, state legislatures have begun adopting laws mandating the use of carbon monoxide detectors.

Sources Of Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide’s sources, such as furnaces, generators, and gas heaters, are very common in homes and can put your family at risk easily. To be safe from this silent killer every house should have a carbon monoxide detector, even if there are no-fuel burning appliances in the house.

Here are some example of carbon monoxide producing devices that are commonly used in every household –

  • Oil and gas furnaces
  • Motor vehicles
  • Stove/Gas range
  • Gas line leaks
  • Gas water heaters
  • Generators
  • Space heaters
  • Automobiles
  • Charcoal grills
  • Fireplaces and woodstoves

In this article, you will get to know the medical effects of CO, the need for CO detector, types of CO detectors, and tips of installing and maintaining it.

Medical Effects Of Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide mixes with blood and reduces the capability of carrying oxygen to body tissues including vital organs like heart and brain. When CO is inhaled by any person, it gets blends with oxygen-carrying hemoglobin and converts it into carboxyhemoglobin. Now, hemoglobin is no longer available to carry oxygen and slowly the oxygen from red blood cells gets replaces with carbon monoxide which can be hazardous. Here are some consequences based on how much CO is being inhaled and the duration of the exposure.

Table reference is

Carbon Monoxide Detector

PPM (parts per million) is used to measure carbon monoxide.

Why You Need A CO Detector

Carbon Monoxide is odorless, tasteless and colorless which makes it more dangerous. Around 5000 people every year get injured from carbon monoxide poison. The common reason for injury is either improper use of or malfunctioning of the appliance that emits this dangerous gas.

By regular maintenance and check of the gas-burning equipment, you can minimize the exposure of CO gas. But still, there are possibilities of sudden failures resulting in a life-threatening risk. So, to avoid such incidents and be in the safest zone carbon monoxide detector is must especially in areas where ventilation is null.

Types of Carbon Monoxide Detector

Carbon monoxide detectors are available in two models – plug-in and hard-wired. Some models provide smoke alarm system qualities, with carbon monoxide detection. The vital model would be the one that has a combination of wired and plug-in.

Hard-wired detectors are mostly interconnected so if one starts beeping all the other connected detectors in the house will start beeping. Some plug-in detectors also have wireless interconnection facilities.
Nowadays CO detectors also identify the level of CO to the owner, so they can take actions accordingly.

Installation And Maintenance Of CO Detectors

Plug-in detectors have easy installation procedure, all you need is to insert a fresh pair of batteries and plug the unit into any outlet that is not covered by furniture, drapes, or other obstructions. If you are a pro at electrical appliance and wiring installation of the hard-wired detector is also easy for you but not then electrician is the only option for you.

Here are some manufacturer’s requirements and recommendations for ideal results.

  • Avoid detector’s installation in high-humid areas.
  • The area where you want to install detectors should have a temperature ranging between 40 Fahrenheit and 100 Fahrenheit. Not more than that neither below this range.
  • It should be within 20 feet of combustion appliances.
  • Some CO detectors work best at the level below 5 feet above the floor and while the other recommends being installed on or near the ceiling.
  • With correct installation, maintenance is also required for a good result. Here are some must tips for the maintenance of CO detectors.
  • Clean the detector monthly with a vacuum cleaner or clean brush.
  • Periodic replacement of batteries in each unit of the house. (In every 6 months).
  • Detectors do not last forever, replace every unit before they hit their expiry date.


Carbon monoxide is a silent killer, you will not even know or have a hint how this gas is destroying you and your dear ones. So, it is must to have CO detectors to have a secure and healthy environment for your family. Make sure to have the proper location for installation and do maintenance periodically for excellent results.

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