Carbon Monoxide Safety


Carbon monoxide detectors are important safety devices for every household. A carbon monoxide detector signals the presence of the deadly gas Carbon Monoxide (CO). Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless, so you cannot smell, taste, or see it. These traits make CO a very dangerous element. It is found in combustion fumes. Combustion fumes are made by vehicles, small gasoline engines, camping stoves, lanterns, charcoal and wood, and gas ranges. Although there are steps you can take in your home to prevent the release of carbon monoxide, it is still best to buy a carbon monoxide detector to catch leaks. The carbon monoxide detector is similar to the smoke alarm. There are plenty of things you can do to lower your risk of fire, but sometimes the unknown or unexpected happens and you need an alarm.

There are some simple things you can do to make your home safer. The most well known source of carbon monoxide is from leaving a vehicle running in a closed garage. To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning take the following precautions: always start your vehicle outside of the garage; never use any type of barbecue inside of the house, garage, or a tent (neither for cooking nor for heat); have a qualified technician check your chimney and vents for blockage, cracks, back drafts, and for general maintenance; and never start lawnmowers and other gas powered equipment that gives off exhaust in the house, garage, or other closed space. That list is not exhaustive, but covers some main mistakes. Wintertime seems especially cruel when it comes to carbon monoxide poisoning in the home. When power is lost to a home and it is cold outside people have moved a charcoal barbecue into the house to cook and use as a heater. This tends to happen more in the United States by non-English speaking populations. Warnings about carbon monoxide poisoning is started to get translated into multiple languages to avoid unnecessary illness and death. The symptoms of carbon monoxide mimics other illnesses, so it’s important to know the signs. Some of these symptoms are headache, dizziness, nausea, passing out, unconsciousness, confusion, vomiting, and chest pain.

Selecting the right carbon monoxide detector for your home is simple. Every carbon monoxide detector on the market has to conform to certain safety standards. Knowing this should help alleviate some concern about whether or not the carbon monoxide detector is a good choice. Carbon monoxide detectors can run on batteries or plug into an outlet. There are also CO detectors that plug into the wall and have battery backups in case of a power outage. The first step to buying a carbon monoxide detector is deciding if you want it battery operated or a plug in. Carbon monoxide detectors are rated by their sensitivity. Consumer Reports found that the Kidde brand carbon monoxide detector is well liked and cost effective. Some CO detectors have digital displays so the amount of carbon monoxide can always be monitored. If you are following the advice of experts, they prefer CO detectors with digital readouts because the carbon monoxide gas levels are continuously displayed. With these detectors in the home, you can alerted of borderline levels that may not yet be dangerous. You should also consider where you are going to place the detector before you buy one. This way you can purchase one that has multiple ways to mount it. To be safe you should have more than one carbon monoxide detector. It is important to place them on each level of your house. If you have children or infants, it is also recommended to place one in their room. You can also purchase combination units that double as carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms. When choosing your carbon monoxide detector the best advice is to be practical. If you are the type of person who is going to forget to check the batteries then buying a plug in with a battery backup might be the best plan. Ultimately, it is your safety that is on the line, so the best choice you can make is to actually buy a carbon monoxide detector.

This post was written by

jasonjason – who has written posts on Home Tips Plus.
I'm a father of three, married and a home owner since 2006. I've worked in fixing up homes and rental properties.

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