If there were a simple, inexpensive device that could protect you and your family from a deadly but invisible substance in your home, wouldn’t you want one? Well, there is. For $20 or less, a carbon monoxide detector can protect you and your loved ones from a poisonous gas that cannot be smelled or seen.
Common Sources of Carbon Monoxide
According to the CDC, carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning results in as many as 430 deaths and another 50,000 emergency room visits each year. The fumes that contain carbon monoxide can come from many sources. Most people know that their furnace can produce CO, but so can gas ranges, wood burning fireplaces, and charcoal grills. Alternative power sources like portable generators and lanterns can also put out the dangerous fumes, making power outages especially dangerous times for CO poisoning. If you happen to have a CO detector that plugs into the wall, be aware that it must have fresh backup batteries to operate without electricity.
Symptoms of CO Poisoning
The earliest symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, and nausea. Longer exposure will result in chest pain, vomiting, and confusion. If you notice any of these symptoms, seek medical attention right away. Call 911 or go to the emergency room if necessary.
What to Do When Your Carbon Monoxide Detector Sounds
A carbon monoxide detector will alert you to the presence of CO in your home before it reaches a level where it can cause serious harm. When it goes off, if no one is showing any symptoms, turn off all fume-producing appliances including the furnace and open doors and windows. After the home is ventilated, reset the detector. It doesn’t sound again, call our service hotline at 513-216-1355 to schedule a repair of the leak. If it does sound again, call emergency services and get outside until they confirm it’s safe to go back into the home.
Check Your CO Detector Every Six Months
Of course, you hope to never need your carbon monoxide detector, but that doesn’t mean you can forget about it once it’s installed. The CDC recommends changing the batteries every six months or using a model that plugs into the wall that has a battery backup in case of power outages. You can make this a routine part of your home maintenance by changing the batteries at the same time you check or change the batteries in your smoke detector. This very small effort could save your life in the event of a carbon monoxide leak. Herrmann Services can install a combination smoke and CO alarm with a 10 year sealed battery life. If you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector in your home, now is the time to get one. If you do have one, make sure the batteries are fresh.