Doubts about carbon monoxide detectors? Get answers

What is carbon monoxide? Why is carbon monoxide so dangerous?
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas resulting from incomplete combustion of hydrocarbons that interferes with the blood’s ability to carry oxygen to the body’s tissues and causes adverse health effects. It has no color, no taste, and no smell. That means that using a carbon monoxide detector is really the only way in which to alert yourself to its presence.

How many carbon monoxide detectors do you need in your home?
Owning one detector isn’t enough if you live in a large home. As part of your encompassing home security system, you should consider installing a detector on every floor.

At what height should carbon monoxide detectors be installed?
Properly installed carbon monoxide detectors may save lives! Carbon monoxide is slightly lighter than air, Most commonly, carbon monoxide detectors are installed on or near the ceiling and at least 10-15 feet away from combustion appliances. Areas of installation are typically outside bedroom hallways. After installation, you should check these devices at least once a year to ensure they’re working like they should.

Make sure to read all applicable instructions, and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding the placement of your detector.

Responding to carbon monoxide alarms
If your carbon monoxide detector sounds, immediately open windows and doors for ventilation. If anyone in the home is experiencing symptoms of CO poisoning (headache, dizziness, or other flu-like symptoms) immediately evacuate the house and call the fire department. If no one is experiencing these symptoms, continue to ventilate, turn off fuel-burning appliances, and call a technician to inspect your heating system and appliances, as soon as possible.

You can choose from hard-wired and battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors. Take the time to sort through the options and choose the one best fitting your needs and budget.


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