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  • Writer's picturePaul Romanelli

5 Facts to Know About Carbon Monoxide

It’s often referred to as The Silent Killer and with good reason. Carbon Monoxide is an odorless gas created as a result of the burning of any fossil fuel such as gasoline, heating oil, natural gas, propane, wood or charcoal. Our bodies can tolerate Carbon Monoxide at very low levels but if the source persists this gas can rapidly cause headaches, disorientation and death. So here’s a few tips to keep everyone safe.

  1. You Don’t Know It’s There - Since Carbon Monoxide is odorless, it can often go undetected by us for very long periods of time. Left unchecked, CO can build up and occupants may show persistent “flu-like” or headache symptoms that never go away. The good news is that Carbon Monoxide detectors are programmed to detect both persistent low levels of CO and rapid increases in this deadly gas. That’s reason enough to install a few CO detectors!

  2. High or Low, Just Put Them In - Chemically speaking, Carbon Monoxide’s atomic weight is nearly the same as the air you breath and when there is excessive CO, it fills a space equally like an expanding balloon. Over the years, there’s been great debate over where to locate CO detectors but the overall consensus is anywhere from a foot off the floor (outlet height) to ceiling height. The height is less important today than making sure you have adequate coverage.

  3. One is the Loneliest Number - Just a few years ago, manufacturers and code enforcers wanted to see just one CO Detector in a home, located near the bedrooms. Today, a CO Detector should be installed on every level of your home. Placement should be close to bedrooms and just outside furnace rooms. If your bedrooms are separated on opposite ends of your home than you’ll need a CO detector in each bedroom hallway within 15 feet of the bedrooms.

  4. Nothing Lasts Forever - There are different methods that the sensors use to detect Carbon Monoxide. Regardless, each CO sensor has a lifespan of roughly 6 years. Manufacturers are constantly making improvements to extend the lifetime but for now, be sure to check the date code on older CO detectors and replace them when necessary. Newer models provide an end-of-life sound or visual indicator.

  5. Name That Tune - CO detectors are required to sound differently than smoke detectors but there are some intentional similarities to the sound. CO detectors have an extra tone to alert you to the difference. Learn to realize the difference but in either case of fire or CO, everyone should exit the premises immediately.

Here is something else to keep in mind. Businesses are just as susceptible to CO poisoning as any household. Here on Long Island, a recent incident of Carbon Monoxide resulted in the death of a manager in a local restaurant and dozens of customers showing critical CO poisoning symptoms. If you own a business, then make a point of installing Carbon Monoxide detectors now. If you’re not the boss, then find a good time to discuss CO dangers with your employer and help work on a plan to install CO detectors in your place of business.

Do you have additional questions about Carbon Monoxide detectors? We’re here to help you! Download this terrific application guide about CO Detection. YOU could save a life - maybe even your own! Contact us for even more information.


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