Carbon monoxide, also known as “CO” is a silent killer. This odorless, tasteless gas comes from the incomplete burning of fuel. Just about anything you might burn in or around your home — whether it’s gasoline, wood, coal, propane, natural gas or oil — can produce carbon monoxide in the right conditions. Without enough ventilation, the gas can build up to deadly levels. It doesn’t take much for CO to be dangerous. For example, even small tools like chainsaws can release enough CO to make you sick! This is where the importance of a carbon monoxide sensor comes into play. CO sensors are highly recommended and considered one of the best safety precautions you can take, alongside a smoke detector. While CO sensors are an important preventative safety measure, it is often interesting to know how these devices actually work. In this post, we will discuss the importance of CO sensors, how they work, and additional safety measures you and your family can take to stay safe from carbon monoxide poisoning.

CO Poisoning

According to reports from the Consumer Products Safety Commission, approximately 200 people per year are killed by accidental CO poisoning with an additional 5000 people injured. Carbon monoxide poisoning happens when too much CO enters your blood stream and begins taking away from the oxygen levels your body needs.

You can reduce your risk of carbon monoxide poisoning by following these five safety guidelines:

  1.  Keep your fuel-burning appliances well maintained and using combustible fuels only in well ventilated areas.
  2. Test CO alarms at least once a month; replace them according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. If the audible trouble signal sounds, check for low batteries. If the battery is low, replace it!
  4. During and after a snowstorm, make sure vents for the dryer, furnace, stove, and fireplace are clear of snow.
  5. If the CO alarm sounds, immediately move to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door. Make sure everyone inside the home is accounted for – including pets!

While regular maintenance and inspection of gas burning equipment in the home can minimize the potential for exposure to CO gas, the possibility for a potentially life threatening build up of gas always exists. For this reason, it is important to always have a working CO sensor in every home. 

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

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The wireless carbon monoxide detector from Protect America is an important safety tool that alerts you of dangerous levels of carbon monoxideCarbon monoxide detectors sound an alarm when they sense a certain amount of carbon monoxide in the air over time. The CO sensor identifies and measures CO gas concentration in the atmosphere in parts per million. In the United States, sensors for home use are calibrated to detect CO concentrations according to Underwriters Laboratories (UL) safety standards. When the sensor detects dangerous levels of the gas, it sends an electronic pulse to the alarm. The higher the concentration, the faster the alarm will respond. When potentially dangerous levels of CO are present, your wireless CO detector will provide a warning signal to alert you and Protect America’s monitoring centers for help. The alarm will only reset once dangerous carbon monoxide levels are no longer being detected. 

In the Home

Carbon monoxide alarms should be mounted on all levels of your home, and are best situated in bedrooms and living rooms. In other words, you should be able to hear the alarm from wherever you and your family typically sleep. Never place them near a fireplace, furnace or in the basement – unless of course someone sleeps in the basement. Consider checking your state laws to see if you need a CO sensor to meet a requirement. However, we strongly suggest you install them in your home today. At Protect America, our sensors detect carbon monoxide to help save your life. Add sensors to any security package at an affordable price. For additional safety information from the National Fire Protection Association click here.