Carbon Monoxide, The Facts

Protecting yourself from dangerous levels of carbon monoxide can only be done successfully with a detector and alarm. It is not a gas a human can detect with normal senses, because it is odorless, tasteless and colorless. It is a gas we humans need in small amounts, but in excess it can make you fall ill and in poisonous amounts, it can kill.

Knowing the facts about this potentially dangerous gas will help protect you from its dangers. It is a gas normally associated with gas appliances, fireplaces and furnaces. Most people assume without the before mentioned devices it would not exist in a home. The fact is this gas is present in nature and will exist to some degree in every home.

The alarms for carbon monoxide are slightly different than smoke alarms because fire is a faster moving destructive force than carbon monoxide. A smoke alarm is designed to emit one sound when smoke is detected. There is only one meaning when that sound is heard, you and your family should exit the structure quickly. A carbon monoxide detector/alarm has two alarms, the alert which signals the problem should be investigated and fresh air should be allowed in the structure and the warning indicates the occupants should leave right away and call the authorities.

Carbon monoxide alarms and smoke alarms have similar maintenance. They need to be vacuumed and tested monthly and batteries need to be changed twice yearly. Lastly, change the alarm with a newer model every 10 years.

If you own an older model of carbon monoxide alarm it may be extremely sensitive and make frequent false alarms. These frequent alarms may also be due to spikes in carbon monoxide levels. If you don’t own an older model, older than 10 or more years, you may have a problem in your home that should be investigated before it becomes a real problem.

The most important thing to realize about carbon monoxide poisoning is that it is not detectable by human senses. You may become ill, but symptoms resemble the flu and may not be identified as carbon monoxide poisoning until it’s too late. Your best option is to call us with all questions related to your heating and air conditioning as well as carbon monoxide alarms.

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