As colder weather approaches, it is a good idea to be aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO). CO is a tasteless, odorless and colorless gas that is produced naturally in our environment as a result of the decomposition of animal products. Carbon monoxide is also discharged by fuel burning devices, such as furnaces, boilers and water heaters and therein lies the potential danger. If these devices do not operate correctly or in areas without sufficient ventilation, harmful and possibly even fatal levels of CO can be produced.
Low and moderate levels of CO poisoning can affect humans with the following symptoms: nausea, dizziness, headaches, shortness of breath and fatigue. Because these symptoms are similar to those associated with minor illnesses like the common cold or flu, they are often ignored. Unfortunately, a minor CO leak can turn into a dangerous one, resulting in high-level exposure to CO. This can cause death in just a few minutes and each year there are more than 400 accidental, non-fire carbon monoxide poisoning deaths nationally.
Store bought CO detectors are helpful, but they are not always reliable in detecting low-level emissions. Some common models of carbon monoxide detectors that are available include:
- Digital Display. Highly-recommended for home use because the display panel allows homeowners to easily view the current, and previous, carbon monoxide levels.
- Hard-wired. Sturdy and reliable, they are connected directly to your home or building’s power supply. Most models feature a battery backup and best installed by professionals.
- AC Plug-in. Convenient because the detectors plug directly into the electricity outlets in your home and here is no battery replacement needed. Combining the two detectors in one unit is a good idea in theory, but not highly recommended because the best location of each type of detector varies. Smoke alarms generally operate best on the ceiling, while a CO detector is normally installed on the wall.
Follow up the installation of carbon monoxide detectors in your home or business by scheduling a thorough CO assessment. Performed by trained, certified technicians with the proper equipment, this analysis will uncover any harmful levels of carbon monoxide, where the source of the problem is and how to fix it. Call The General today to schedule a tune-up and prevent potentially dangerous carbon monoxide poisoning.