Over 430 people die annually from accidental carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. And over 50,000 victims visit the emergency department because of unintentional poisoning.
You can easily prevent yourself from suffering a similar fate. Carbon monoxide detectors. They’re affordable and have the potential to save many lives.
Keep reading. Learn more about carbon monoxide and where it comes from. Also, become an expert on CO detectors. That way, you can protect yourself and your family.
What Is Carbon Monoxide?
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a gas that combines one part oxygen and one part carbon. It comes from carbon fuel that fails to thoroughly burn.
Common Sources of Carbon Monoxide Gas
Carbon monoxide sources are everywhere. Some sources that are likely in your home include:
- Running car engines: think about a running car in a garage
- Gas ranges and ovens
- Gas-powered water heaters
- Charcoal barbecue grills
- Clothes dryer
- Power generators
Because you may have these devices doesn’t mean you need to sell them. You will need to practice caution when using these devices, though.
Why Is Carbon Monoxide Dangerous?
When in an open and well-ventilated space, CO isn’t as dangerous. But in confined spaces, the combustion of gasses can lead to various ailments. The most common include cold- or flu-like symptoms.
Without quick treatment, carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms could lead to death.
What Do Carbon Monoxide Detectors Do?
Carbon monoxide detectors work similarly to smoke detectors. Except when detecting smoke to trigger an alarm, it detects carbon monoxide. You can install multiple detectors throughout your home or a single alarm.
How Do Carbon Monoxide Detectors Work?
Carbon monoxide detectors use various sensors to detect CO. Once these alarms meet certain ‘conditions’, they’ll trigger the detector’s alarm. The sensors you’ll usually find in these devices include:
- Electrochemical sensor: when CO comes in contact with electrical currents, an electrode will sense the change
- Biomimetic sensor: it uses a gel that changes color when it absorbs carbon monoxide
- Metal oxide semiconductor: a silica chip’s electrical resistance will lower when in contact with CO
Once the area surrounding the CO detector has no more carbon monoxide, the siren will silence.
When Do Carbon Monoxide Detectors Go Off?
Higher levels of carbon monoxide—over 150 Parts per Million (PPM)—will raise suspicion in your CO detector. After 10–50 minutes pass, it’ll trigger an alarm. Whereas, for 400 PPM, you’ll see this alarm scream after 4 to 15 minutes.
Lower levels of carbon monoxide (50 ppm) will trigger your detector after eight hours.
What To Do if My Carbon Monoxide Detector Goes Off?
Gather your family and animals. Then move outside immediately. It takes less than five minutes for high concentrations of carbon monoxide to kill you.
While you and your family are on your way outside, leave your doors open as you make your way out. Doing so will help you air out your home.
And once you all are outside, check everyone for flu-like symptoms. If anyone has these symptoms, call 911 immediately. You or them may have carbon monoxide poisoning.
While waiting for emergency services, schedule an appointment with a professional who can evaluate your fuel-burning appliances. We at AccuTemp can help. If you’re in an emergency, call (318) 861-2255 now.
How Many Carbon Monoxide Detectors Should I Get?
Each state has varying requirements based on the number of CO detectors you’ll need in your home. Many states require that you have a carbon monoxide detector inside each private dwelling (bedroom).
Meanwhile, other states require that you have one sensor per level. That means you’d need a single CO detector in a shared area like a hallway.
You'll want to consider hiring an installation specialist to ensure you correctly install your carbon monoxide detector. And look no further. AccuTemp Cooling and Heating can install a high-quality CO detector manufactured by NCI (National Comfort Institute).
Contact a cooling and heating specialist in Shreveport, LA, today.