What is Carbon Monoxide and why do I need a Carbon Monoxide Detector?
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless and potentially dangerous gas produced when fuel burns without enough air for complete combustion. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include fatigue, headache, dizziness, nausea, coughing, irregular breathing, paleness and cherry red lips and ears.If symptoms are noticed, it is advised that you immediately open windows and doors to ventilate the home or structure, call 911 and get outside into fresh air. Later, have appliances checked carefully by a qualified heating contractor.
Purchase and install a carbon monoxide detector on each level of your home and near sleeping areas, in rooms over or near a garage, in the basement or other isolated area, and in rooms where space heaters are used. Detectors that have been verified by Underwriters Laboratory (UL) and have been manufactured after October 1995 conform to minimum alarm requirements. Those marked UL 2034 or IAS 6–96 have met the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission guidelines. Follow the directions for installing and using the detector carefully.
As you can see the prices and types vary:
To help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning:
- Have your chimney and flue cleaned every year.
- Get a qualified inspector to check appliances and heating systems each year.
- Be sure all home appliances have adequate ventilation.
- Don’t rely on carbon monoxide detectors as a substitute for maintaining appliances, furnaces or chimneys.
- Be sure burner flames in appliances and heating systems are blue, not orange.
- Never use a gas range for space heating.
- Never run an automobile or gasoline engine in an enclosed space.
- Never use a charcoal grill indoors.