Carbon monoxide detectors are great devices
to use when fuel-burning appliances are used
in the home. They can be very useful for keeping
watch on the CO levels in the home; although
they should never be substituted for having
a trained professional come to your home to
inspect your appliances. Knowing which carbon
monoxide detector to choose is also very
Average CO levels in homes without gas stoves vary from 0.5 to 5 parts
per million (ppm). Levels near properly adjusted gas stoves are often
5 to 15 ppm while those near poorly adjusted stoves may be 30 ppm or higher.
detectors should be tested at least once a month by following the manufacturer's
instructions and should be replaced after about two years. Batteries should
also be replaced as needed according to manufacturer's recommendations.
Handling a CO emergency
Let's say you and your family are home when the CO detector goes off.
What do you need to do in a situation where you have noticed the CO levels
rising in your home? A CO detector will sound in the same way as a smoke
alarm alerting residents to evacuate the premises. A detector with a low
level indicator is recommended because it is more sensitive to any rise
in CO, no matter how slight. It can best prevent residents from developing
carbon monoxide poisoning.
When your CO detector sounds the following
steps should be taken;
Any fuel burning appliances should be turned off until checked by
a professional technician.
Any member of the household experiencing symptoms of carbon monoxide
poisoning should be checked by a doctor immediately.
It is important to get the house ventilated with fresh air.
When everyone is safely out of the house notify the fire department.