According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, carbon monoxide (CO) is the leading cause behind accidental poisoning in the U.S. In fact, the CDC estimates that more than 400 Americans die from CO poisoning and tens of thousands are hospitalized or treated because of it each year.
Noting this, every home should be equipped with a carbon monoxide detector to help safeguard occupants against something with the potential to be so dire. This post will take a closer look a CO poisoning and where it’s best to install CO detectors in the home.
Only about half of all American households have a carbon monoxide detector in their home.
Carbon Monoxide: The Invisible Killer
Carbon monoxide is often dubbed “the invisible killer” due to the fact that home occupants are likely not even aware that they’re being poisoned. That’s because CO is an odorless, tasteless, scentless gas – traits that make it difficult to identify. That’s where a CO detector comes in handy – it can detect what the human senses cannot when it comes to a threat. Aside from the basics about CO, it may surprise you to learn some more eye-opening information about this gas:
- Anytime a fuel is burned, CO is produced. Hence, gas-fired home products like hot water heaters, dryers and furnaces are often producers of CO.
- About two-thirds of all CO poisoning deaths are caused by heating systems.
- According to certain surveys, only about half of all American households have a carbon monoxide detector.
- CO poisoning can lead to a quick death if levels of the gas are high enough. Symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to the flu: nausea, dizziness, headaches and fatigue are all common signs.
- CO poisoning doesn’t discriminate. In other words, anyone can succumb to CO poisoning.
Where to Place Carbon Monoxide Detectors
As you can see, the purchase and installation of one or more CO detectors is a wise decision to preventatively guard against accidental poisoning. CO detectors can either be purchased as standalone devices or be combined with smoke detectors and other aspects of a home security system. But acquiring such a device is only half the battle. Arguably just as important is knowing where to place it in your home for the best protection. Here’s a look at some guidelines:
- Minimally, it’s recommended that a CO detector is installed on every level of the home.
- On upstairs levels, the CO detector is best placed in the hallway outside of bedrooms.
- In lower level areas and basements that have fuel-burning appliances, it’s best if the CO detectors are placed anywhere from five to 20 feet away from such CO sources.
- Only place CO detectors in open air spaces. This ensures that the sensors will remain clear and be able to adequately do their jobs. Avoid placing them in obstructed areas or next to doors or windows.
- If your CO detector is battery operated, be sure to regularly test the device to ensure that the batteries are still charged. Even if your CO detector plugs in, it’s still a good idea to test it from time to time to make sure it’s still working as it should.
Contact Us Today
For more information on carbon monoxide detectors and how they can be integrated into a monitored home security system, contact Protect America today for a free quote.