A carbon monoxide detector is a very critical and potentially life saving device that detects the presence of the carbon monoxide gas to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
What is carbon monoxide? Carbon monoxide gas is a simple molecule: one part carbon and one part oxygen. Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odorless and tasteless gas that is very poisonous to humans and pets. Its known as the ‘silent killer’ because you cannot tell when it is around. Carbon monoxide comes when carbon fuel like: wood, gasoline, coal, propane, natural gas and heating oil fails to burn completely. There is three main sources of carbon monoxide in your home mainly around the dryer vent in a drying machine, fireplace or chimney and in your furnace. It is very important to have these sources regularly cleaned and serviced by a professional.
Why is carbon monoxide dangerous? Carbon monoxide poisoning is when carbon monoxide builds up in your bloodstream. It binds with your red blood cells and starves your body of oxygen after passing into your lungs. It can lead to serious tissue damage and even death.
Symptoms of carbon monoxide? Signs and symptoms may include: dull headaches, nausea, weakness, dizziness, vomiting, loss of consciousness and shortness of breath.
How do carbon monoxide detectors works? Carbon monoxide alarms detect the poisonous gas and provides early warning. Different sensors set of different types of alerts. It is very critical that you get fresh air as soon as possible in the event of a carbon monoxide leak.
Where to install carbon monoxide alarms? It is very critical to place multiple alarms over the house so when they go off people in the household will hear them. Its important to have an alarm on every level of the house even one near your garage. Carbon monoxide alarms are best placed high up on walls or ceilings as to the contrary to belief that carbon monoxide gas is heavier than air.
How often should you test or replace your alarms? It is very important to test your alarms on a regular basis it is suggested to test them at least once a month. If your alarm has replaceable batteries they should be changed every 5 months at least. Carbon monoxide alarms do not last forever they have a lifespan of 4-7 years but each alarm you purchase will have a specific lifespan date.
There are many different carbon monoxide alarms that you can purchase.
- Biometric sensor- contains a gel that changes colour when it absorbs carbon monoxide when the gel changes colour it triggers the alarm to go off.
- Electrochemical sensor- has electrodes immersed in a chemical solution that senses a change in electrical current when carbon monoxide is present which triggers the alarm.
- Metal oxide semiconductor- when the silca chirps circular detects carbon monoxide, it lowers the electrical resistance and this change triggers the alarm.
If your carbon monoxide detector is low on battery you’ll likely hear short chirps each minute. Almost all carbon monoxide detectors will beep four or five times in a row. Seek fresh air and call emergency services.