Carbon Monoxide Detectors and Alarms

Carbon monoxide alarm systems or carbon monoxide detectors are your number one aid in the fight against monoxide poisoning. Today we are going to share with you the way these systems work, how difficult it is to install secure systems, how does upkeep look like, and more.

What Are The Risks Associated With Carbon Monoxide?

carbon monoxide detectors

Carbon monoxide is a gas that is made of one part oxygen and one part carbon. The gas is generated when fuel that contains carbon such as natural gas, wood, heating oil, coal, or gasoline does not burn fully. All the previously mentioned sources of energy are not considered risky to use when they are burned in open spaces with sufficient air ventilation. However, carbon monoxide or CO has the potential of causing a number of problems when burned in confined spaces with poor ventilation, including garages, kitchens, or basements.  The main problem with carbon monoxide comes from the fact that the gas is invisible and does not have a smell or a specific taste, which means it is barely impossible to detect it without the use of a special monoxide carbon detector or sensor.  When carbon monoxide molecules bind with red blood cells in the lungs, they will automatically suppress the body from receiving the oxygen it needs. In turn, this will lead to the following symptoms specific to carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • the feeling of dizziness
  • feeling fatigued without a reason
  • shortness of breath
  • headaches
  • feeling nauseated
  • vomiting
  • disorientation
  • losing consciousness

while most of these symptoms can be easily mistaken for the flu, ignoring them could have serious repercussions on your well-being. Feeling disoriented out of the sudden and losing your consciousness normally occur once the CO levels reach 150 ppm, which could lead to sudden death if the symptoms are not immediately treated. Sadly, death by exposure to carbon monoxide is the second leading cause of unintentional poisoning in the country.

Tips For Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

As previously discussed, the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning is a serious matter that should not be taken lightly, because of the severe repercussions it cud have on your life. Preventing carbon monoxide poisoning can be easily done with the help of CO sensors that can be installed around the house. We are going to discuss the way these carbon monoxide detectors work shortly. For now, here are a few quicks tips to prevent or limit your exposure to CO:

  • avoid heating your home with a gas stove, as these generate CO that could rapidly accumulate inside the house without your knowledge
  • avoid running or warming up your car while still parked in the garage during the cold season, as CO is a byproduct of car exhaust that will rapidly build up in enclosed spaces
  • ensure the right level of ventilation inside those rooms of the house where you are using a device that runs on gas, such as a heater, a generator, or a pressure washer
  • avoid using camping stoves or charcoal grills inside an RV or inside the house or a tent

Detect CO Using Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Professional carbon monoxide detectors can be easily installed inside the household in the form of one or several sensors that are similar to smoke and fire alarm detectors. Basically, CO alarms will trigger an audio warning whenever the sensors will detect the presence of carbon monoxide in the respective room.  Some of the simples carbon monoxide detectors will easily set off the siren, while smart carbon monoxide detectors with more complex features will also allow you to connect the sensors to the home security system via a smartphone.

How Does A Carbon Monoxide Detector Work?

A carbon monoxide detector will automatically sound the alarm whenever the level of CO inside the room goes above a certain predefined limit in time. You can schedule different sensors to set off various types of alarms, as follows:

  • a CO detector that uses metal oxide semiconductors will lower the electrical resistance and this will, in turn, enable the alarm to sound. This occurs whenever the circuitry of the silica chip will detect the presence of CO.
  • a CO detector featuring a biomimetic sensor will work by sounding the alarm whenever the gel will change its color as it is absorbing CO.
  • a CO detector that relies on an electrochemical sensor will trigger the alarm whenever there are any changes noticed in the electrical current identified by the electrodes placed inside a chemical solution that touches CO.

Shortly put, a carbon monoxide sensor will go off whenever it can detect an accumulation of this dangerous gas inside the house or the garage, and this normally occurs prior to you being able to physically experience any intoxication symptoms. This could range from up to 8 hours for low concentrations of 50 parts per million, to as little as 3 minutes CO concentrations of at least 150 ppm.  Whenever you hear the carbon monoxide alarm going off, make sure you leave the premises straight away as being exposed to the low concentration of CO over a long period of time could prove to be just as harmful as being suddenly exposed to very high concentrations of gas.  The repercussions of being exposed to CO will usually begin at around 70 parts per million for most individuals, so it is critical that you use carbon monoxide detectors in the house, since lower levels of the gas will not signal any visible changes at a physical level.

Which Carbon Monoxide Alarm Systems To Buy?

Whether you want to buy simple carbon monoxide alarm systems you can instantly plug in outlets or charge with the help of batteries for a multi-bedroom household building or a model with carbon monoxide sensors as well as smoke sensors, the choice is yours. There are some more advanced, smart detector options that allow you to connect a home security system to the sensors and issue warnings via smart apps. They are pricier than the other models, but they will add an extra layer of protection and bring more peace of mind to you and your family.

Where To Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors?

Depending on where you live, check out the local legislation for CO detectors as well as the instructions provided by the manufacturer and make sure you have a sensor installed on each floor, plus the attic and the basement, nearby each bedroom and near the doors that communicate with the garage.

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