According to the Center for Disease Control, 430 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning each year and another 50,000 require medical attention for exposure. What make those deaths even more tragic is that carbon monoxide poisoning is easily preventable by simply installing carbon monoxide detector products at appropriate places throughout your home.
Where Does Carbon Monoxide Come From?
Stoves, gas ranges, portable generators, gas furnaces, and burning charcoal and wood are some of the ways that harmful amounts of carbon monoxide (CO) can enter your home. CO is present in the fumes generated by those appliances and activities. When the fumes build up, they can quickly reach deadly levels.
Symptoms of CO poisoning include weakness, dizziness, confusion, and chest pain. Unfortunately, those who are sleeping when the build-up reaches dangerous levels will never have a chance to recognize the symptoms and often die in their sleep.
Preventing CO Poisoning
There are many important steps to take to prevent CO poisoning. One of the most important is installing a quality carbon monoxide detector with a battery backup so it will still work if you lose power.
Where Should I Install Carbon Monoxide Detector?
Installing your CO detectors in the right places is vital, and failing to do so can lead to them not alerting you to a dangerous situation. You should install CO detectors:
- On each floor of your home, including the basement and attic
- Five to twenty feet from any sources of CO, such as those listed above
As you purchase and decide on where to install carbon monoxide detector products, keep in mind that:
- Not all carbon monoxide detectors are the same. Be sure to choose models with accurate sensing technology.
- Nothing should block the sensors. The alarm will not sound until CO reaches them. If furniture, plants, or anything else is in the way, it will take much longer for the CO to reach the sensors.
- You should not place the unit next to a window or door.
- You shouldn’t let dust build up on the detector as this can block the sensors.
- It’s important not to forget to change the batteries at least every six month. Some people remember by changing the batteries when it’s time to set their clocks ahead or back an hour.
- It’s a good idea to test the unit monthly. One way to remember this is to have the monthly test coincide with another activity such as paying the mortgage.