A carbon monoxide detector is a device that can save lives. CO is often mentioned as a silent killer. As it doesn’t have any smell or color, human beings cannot detect it. Even when it has high concentrations. And it’s very bad for people’s health. It can cause dizziness or even death. That is why it’s a wise move to consider carbon monoxide detector placement at home to protect families from this danger in 2020.
Table of Contents
- What Is a Carbon Monoxide Detector
- Types of Carbon Monoxide Detectors
- How to Choose the Right
- Carbon Monoxide Detector Placement
- How to Measure the CO
- What Are the Symptoms of Poisoning?
- How to Prevent Poisoning
- Safety Reminders
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is a Carbon Monoxide Detector
These are a type of alarm that detects CO instead of smoke. They function in a similar way. Alarms will start ringing as soon as they see a change in the air. The idea behind the device is that it looks for the “silent killer”. That is a gas that is not possible to search or perceive by humans.
- Poisoning can be quick. It’s crucial that the carbon monoxide detector works well and fast.
- The gas doesn’t have color, odor, or taste. That is why it’s not easy to smell or see.
Types of Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Now, these devices measure CO2, that’s clear. But there is not only one type of product. In the market, clients can find more than one variety. These are the monitors and alarms for more protection in different areas.
Carbon Monoxide Alarms or Detectors
The alarms are the most common people can find when it comes to a carbon monoxide detector. The way of function is quite similar to a smoke alarm. As soon as the device sees, there is CO2 in the room. It will start ringing. On the negative side, they will only protect people from a high concentration of this gas. But low ones can also hurt people, so at times they are not so complete.
Carbon Monoxide Monitor
Those looking for more safety might want to install monitors. These are devices that measure how much CO2 there is in the air all the time. It does not beep or ring. Instead, it has a monitor with digital numbers. So, owners will know if the levels are normal or not. Even if they raise a little bit, then the people living in the house will know. The only thing to consider is for it to be away from the floor.
The monitors might be a better choice for those who live with small children or elderly people because they will detect even low levels and protect the most sensitive ones. On the gray side, these are a bit more expensive. And will not beep or ring if they see something. The adult is in charge of checking the levels all the time for security in all the areas.
How to Choose the Right Carbon Monoxide Detector
Carbon monoxide detectors take care of one’s life. That is why it’s crucial to choose them with care. So, there are some specs that are essential for the device to truly be useful.
- Monitoring at all times. These products should function 24/7. If they don’t, they live people at risk. No matter if it’s in the morning or at night, the leaks can always take place. And the alarms should be loud enough for the owner to hear it even if they are far away.
- Long-lasting batteries. If not, these devices might fail. They can also be wired, but this will limit the place where they can go. For example, they cannot be put in places where there are no outlets. Plus, being wireless has other benefits. Like moving it around in the case, the person moves house.
- Integrations. Today, there are more and more smart homes. And owners usually buy products that can work together. So, a carbon monoxide detector is a nice add-on to the team.
- Radius. The range of detection is one of the most important perks of such a device. If they don’t have a lot of feet or meters, there might be a leak. But the owner will never know, and this can be dangerous for their health.
Carbon Monoxide Detector Placement – Do’s and Don’ts
So, it has become clear that it is necessary to choose with care. Not all the devices are useful for any family or any building. But after this review, there comes something as important: where to place a carbon monoxide detector. There are some tips from experts about the best practices, of course. It’s easy to keep one’s privacy while sleeping because the detector has no camera. And there are others who share their experience when it comes to bad things when installing. People should bear these tips in mind so as not to harm their health when setting them up.
Where to Place Them?
When the winter comes at home, the need to install this best equipment becomes higher. So, it becomes crucial to set them up properly in the main rooms. So, let’s keep this in mind while doing it.
- Put one close to every floor of the home. If the house has more than one floor, then each one should have a carbon monoxide detector. At least one so the whole section has protection.
- And don’t forget about the basement. In particular, if it’s the part of the house that contains the boiler.
- Place them near stoves and fireplaces. This way, that room and the rest of the house will be protected for sure.
- Remember the garage at home. Some places people tend to forget are the garages. But cars can also suffer from leaks. And an explosion can have devastating effects. So, the placement of the carbon monoxide detector is 10 feet close to the garage.
- Make sure to learn how to carry out the installation. Brands need to comply with safety standards and stamp a certificate. Look for it to make sure the device is good for one’s health and privacy.
- Every owner should read the manual to ensure they are doing things right.
- In case there is more than one device, it’s a great idea to synchronize them. This way, the alarms will beep just once, no matter where they are located.
Some Things NOT to Do
So, when it comes to the carbon monoxide detector placement code, there are other measures not to take. Those key points will help to keep the people living inside safe.
- It’s wise to place the carbon monoxide detectors away from the stove. One might think that being near is a good idea, but it’s not because it might detect false CO when the fire is burning. Of course, the device should be in the same room. Just a bit away from the kitchen or gas appliance.
- Bathrooms are always full of humidity. This can affect how a carbon monoxide detector works. So, it’s not a good idea to place them there.
- Keep them away from children. They might play with them and hinder their good functioning.
- Don’t place these products near the windows. The wind may make them work badly.
How to Measure the CO
Now, it’s important for people to understand how CO is measured. Of course, human beings cannot do this on their own and will need the help of machines and equipment. CO2 is measured using ppm. It refers to each part per million within the air.
Experts claim than 70 ppm in the room is dangerous. This can make people feel ill or unwell. And if the level goes above 150 ppm, it can be a cause of death. Once in the hospital, doctors can also measure the levels of CO in the blood.
What Are the Dangerous Levels?
As stated above, 70 ppm represents a danger for human health. That means that there are 70 carbon molecules per a million molecules of air. Now, not all homes or rooms are the same. Even in those houses without stoves or kitchens, there can be CO leaks. Let’s examine the recommended thresholds:
- 0.5-5 ppm: this is the normal level of any building. In particular, for those who have no appliance that works with gas
- Below 70 ppm: the level can be harmless for most people. But only in short periods of time. If persons are exposed for longer hours, they can feel dizzy or with a headache.
- 100 ppm: the headache becomes stronger, and there are other side effects.
- 150-200 ppm: the first thing that happens is to be unconscious. And even more serious, if the effects prolong for hours, it can lead to death.
What Are the Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
Most of the symptoms are related. The first thing that people usually experience is headache and confusion.
- It can also make people feel drowsy, and they want to go to sleep
- Burning eyes can be a warning sign, too.
- The more time the person stays in the room with a leak, the more dangerous it becomes. If a person is trapped inside of it without any help, he or she can even die.
How Carbon Monoxide Affects You
Well, secondary effects tend to be severe. But only for those who were exposed for a long time. And with a high concentration of CO. These can lead to brain damage or even death. Because people will not be able to bring oxygen to the brain and organs.
Those at more risk of poisoning are children and old people. And also those with respiratory disease. Heart conditions can also be an issue.
So, they should have this information to search and install the devices that are best for their protection.
How to Prevent Poisoning
After knowing the risks, it’s also good to remind families how to protect their members of this gas. Luckily, today there are a lot of options and experts who recommend what to do in these cases for more security. Let’s take a look at some pieces of advice:
- Of course, the first step is to use a good carbon monoxide detector. Those are the only products that can really measure how much gas is inside the room, even when people are sleeping.
- Every owner should check they have installed every device properly. Especial care should be taken towards stoves or kitchens. This will prevent any leaks from happening.
- Contact pros in the field to take care of appliances. For example, fireplaces should be cleaned at least once a year.
- Vents, chimneys, and similar areas can also be the main sources of this dangerous gas. Always look for leaks or stains that can give it away.
- When setting up the alarm, make sure to understand the carbon monoxide detector beeping. This way, no member of the family will confuse the sound for something else.
Carbon Monoxide Detector Safety Reminders
Keeping the house safe from CO emissions should be done conscientiously. To do this, make sure to follow all these tips so that the carbon monoxide detector does its job as it should.
- Set the products at the right height. They should be at the same height as the knees. Not on the ceiling as with fire ones. Carbon monoxide does not rise in the same way as smoke does. When doing this, though, make sure that it is not within reach of children or pets. And it’s advisable to carry out the installation of at least once in every area or floor at home.
- Check how it works regularly. Try to do this at least every month. Most carbon monoxide detectors will include some sort of mechanism to do this too. For example, some of them have a button that the user should press. And if everything works as expected, a beep or light will come out.
- Clean it. These devices should be cleaned at least once a year. But it would be nice to do it more often if it gets dirty easily. Dust could lower the effectiveness of these devices.
- Change the batteries. Most carbon monoxide detectors will emit a high-decibel sound when they are running out of battery. But do not wait for this to happen. Change them at least once a year so that the device is always working properly. People can learn this information when reading the manual.
What to Do When Your Co Alarm Goes off
There are certain steps to take when a person hears the carbon monoxide detector beeping. And it’s wise to think of them in advance. And not when the tragedy is taking place.
First of all, never ignore the sounds. That is why the carbon monoxide detectors are there in the first place. And take action very fast. The high concentration of CO2 can threaten a person’s life.
- Consider that the sound will come faster if there is a lot of gas (it may start beeping in just 5 minutes). If the concentration is low, it may take a bit more time to detect the CO. Even an hour. But this also means the danger for human health is not that serious.
- So, the first thing to do after hearing the alarm is to take everyone out of the room. And, if possible, out of the house. Don’t leave children or pets behind.
- Call the emergencies (911) to get quick help. The authorities will know what to do if there’s CO in the home. And they will come prepared with equipment.
- Don’t get inside the building until emergency services say it’s possible.
- If the alarm goes off, but nobody feels ill, there are other measures to take. For example, the owner can just open all the windows and let the airflow. This way, the poisoning will not be deep. Of course, after that, they should call professionals to take a look at the appliances. And to look for possible leaks.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Often Should You Test and Replace Your Co Alarms to Make Sure They Are Working?
It’s crucial to test them on a regular basis. A good period of time to do this is once a month. For example, one thing that should always be checked is the battery. Just in case, the owner ought to change it at least once every 6 months. And owners should keep in mind that these products have a lifetime. They will not last forever. But this can be checked with the brand and see how long it will last.
Do You Put Carbon Monoxide Detectors High or Low?
There is no definite answer. Some experts recommend placing these near the ceiling. That’s because CO2 is thinner than air and it floats high. But other people claim it’s better to put them low, near the ground. But, all in all, the placement does not matter. They will detect carbon anywhere they are. The only important thing is that they are well installed.
Where Should Carbon Monoxide Alarms Be Placed in Each Room?
No matter where they are inside the room, the important thing is that they are. The placement is similar to that of smoke devices. There should be one inside the kitchen and the bathroom. But also in other rooms. In particular, in those with a stove. Or any other type of device that works with gas. If the alarm is of high quality, it will see that there is an issue right away.
Does Carbon Monoxide Make You Sleepy?
Yes, it does. That’s why it’s so dangerous for human health. Those who have been exposed will show mild symptoms. Like a headache, nausea, or sleep. It may even look like the flu, but it’s not. And it is essential to do away with the leak before it’s too late.
Reliability to Keep Your Family Safe
All in all, it’s clear that where to place a carbon monoxide detector is crucial to keeping people safe. Putting them in the bathroom or near a window may hinder its correct functioning. And reliability is important to give families time to escape in case of leaks. And with these tips for 2020, every second will surely count.