Every house or workplace has or should have a smoke alarm. It’s a no brainer and it’s quite often enforced by the law. However, the likelihood that you have a carbon monoxide detector installed is actually quite low. One of the reasons that few too many people have carbon monoxide installed is because their importance is often underestimated or maybe even forgotten by home and business owners. The lack of a carbon monoxide detector is the main contributing factor as to why carbon monoxide poisoning exposure occurs. There are 15,000 reported CDC reports each year from non-fire related carbon monoxide poisoning. Furnaces, generators, gas heaters, gas burners and many more applications can all cause deadly exposure in the home or workplace. Carbon monoxide is undetectable by the human senses because it is colourless and odourless. This means that it can’t be seen or smelt. Therefore a detector is a necessity as, unlike fire and smoke which you can smell and see, it is undetectable and the symptoms of prolonged exposure are often ignored as flu. Over 500 people die each year from exposure to carbon monoxide.
A report from the CDC claims that the most common causes of carbon monoxide leakage are; Oil and gas furnaces, Gas water heaters, Generators, Gas line leaks, Stove or Gas hobs, and Motor vehicles. If any of these applications are present in your home and workplace then it is vital that you install a carbon monoxide detector. You wouldn’t work or live in a place without a fire alarm so why would you risk carbon monoxide poisoning especially when you can’t even detect it yourself!
The CDC offers some guideline in reducing the chance of having a carbon monoxide leak. It is important to have your heating systems qualified each year by a qualified technician at least once a year. They suggest that you install a battery operated carbon monoxide detector in your home and check or replace the battery when you change the clock from spring forward or fall back. They insist that if the detector every goes off then it is important that you evacuate the building immediately and telephone the fire services. If you feel dizzy, lightheaded, or nauseated then seek immediate medical attention. Avoid using generators, charcoal grills, camp stoves, or other carbon monoxide producing products in a cellar, basement, confide space or even near a window.
The CDC declare that it is important to learn the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning and they range from; Headaches, vomiting, shortness of breath to Confusion, blurred vision, sleepiness and loss of muscle control. Carbon monoxide is colourless and odourless meaning that you can’t see or smell it making it one of the most deadly gases in the world. When installing your carbon monoxide detector is important to make sure that it is in an open space and isn’t hindered or covered by furniture or curtains. Carbon monoxide detectors are often available in a first alert combination with a smoke detector. However, they are also available as separate individual alarms.
There are a few situations when you wouldn’t require a carbon monoxide detector. Such situations are buildings that use only electrical power. If you use electricity to cook all your meals and to heat your house then a detector may not be necessary. Although it is not a common problem it is important to use your gas appliances properly. Some households like to use their gas ovens for additional heating especially in cold weather. However this adds an additional risk as they can also produce dangerous levels of nitrogen dioxide which is an agent of repertory disease.
Carbon monoxide detectors are an everyday essential. It is extremely important to protect against exposure as more and more incidents occur each year. A simple alarm can be the difference between becoming another statistic or safely escaping an endangered area. It’s a more regular occurrence than people think and it can be deadly at home and in the workplace.
Article By Sam Prusek The Industry Post