How a Carbon Monoxide Detector Can Help

144290739-chicagoIf you own your home, or if you rent an apartment, or if you’ve got any sort of roof over your head at night, you should have a carbon monoxide detector near the place where you sleep. Carbon monoxide poisoning should be a concern because it is a gas that kills 500 people a year and puts another 15,000 in the hospital from symptoms related to CO poisoning. So if you’re not arming yourself with the tools that can help you catch this poison in the air that the human eye can’t see and the human nose can’t smell, then you may find that you just don’t wake up one morning. Carbon monoxide is deadly, but installing a carbon monoxide alarm can help you catch the problem before it becomes your end.

How Do They Work?

Carbon monoxide alarms are small sensors or devices that you can mount on your wall in your home. They have chemical sensors or advanced technology within them that enables them to detect the presence of carbon monoxide in the air around them. When they find that the concentration of CO is higher than it should be, they will sound an alarm to alert you to the danger. The higher the concentration of carbon monoxide, the sooner the alarm will sound to warn you.

How Do You Read Them?

Carbon Monoxide Alarm 136249901Reading a CO detector allows you to know what the concentration of carbon monoxide is in the atmosphere of your home. It also depends on the kind of CO detector you have installed. Some of them are digital and produce a number in ppm. Anything ppm over 100 is dangerous to your health; the alarm should have sounded at that point and you should gather everyone in your home and vacate the premises as quickly as possible. Even a ppm as low as 35 indicates that there is a problem of chronic carbon monoxide in the area, which will cause symptoms like headaches or vertigo with prolonged exposure. It’s a good idea to check your digital CO alarm for the number of ppm on occasion just in case you do have a problem of chronic CO in your home. Other sensors may have a chemical pad that turns colors when CO is present, and so you have to be aware of the color change. But with any carbon monoxide detector in today’s home security systems, you’ll find that they sound an alarm when there’s a serious health risk.

What Should You Do When Your CO Detector Sounds an Alarm?

When the carbon monoxide alarm goes off, you should NEVER ignore it. Paramedic 3 96920965The first step is to gather everyone in your house and to all vacate the home, going outside into the fresh air to breathe freely. This should serve to alleviate any symptoms that you were experiencing. If you realize after you’ve left the home that there may still be someone in the house, do not go back in to get them because you could easily lose consciousness, costing both of you your lives. Call 9-1-1 to talk to the fire department about your CO problem in your home, and they will go in to get the other person. If there is no other person still left in your house, still call the fire department to come and help take care of the problem. The third step is to call your doctor. Even though you’re now in fresh air and away from the carbon monoxide, there is a chance you will experience prolonged problems as a result of the exposure. It’s best to contact your doctor right away, tell him of your symptoms, and follow his counsel on whether or not to go to the hospital.

Installing a carbon monoxide detector in your home could save the lives of everyone living there. It’s definitely one of the most important parts of your home security system and should not be forgotten or deemed unnecessary in any way, even if they are not required by state carbon monoxide laws where you live.