How to Read a Carbon Monoxide Detector
Over 20,000 Americans visit the ER each year due to carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
While installing carbon monoxide detectors in your home is smart, their effectiveness depends on you being able to read them.
Fortunately, our fire protection contractors will be more than happy to help you understand how to read your CO detectors.
For fire protection services, call Fire Pros at 800-968-2871!
Install CO Detectors Correctly
Just like smoke detectors, you’ll need carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas. Typically, the manufacturer will recommend you install the CO detectors near the ceiling. If you don’t feel comfortable installing CO detectors, call our fire protection contractors. We’re always more than happy to help customers make their homes safer.
Carbon monoxide weighs the same as air. However, carbon monoxide is warmer than air when it leaks from fuel-burning appliances. Since heat rises, the carbon monoxide floats to the ceiling where it will be detected by your carbon monoxide alarms.
While most carbon monoxide leaks come from fuel-burning appliances, you shouldn’t install your CO detectors too close. It’s not uncommon for fuel-burning appliances to release a puff of concentrated carbon monoxide when they first switch on, which could give your CO alarm an inaccurately high reading.
Understand How CO Is Measured
Carbon monoxide is measured in parts per million (PPM). This simply means that for every million parts of air, one of those parts is carbon monoxide. PPM is often used to quantify how much liquid or gas contaminant is present.
How to Know When CO Levels Are Dangerous
If your CO levels creep above 35 PPM, evacuate your home and call 911. While this shouldn’t be taken as a strict guideline, it helps you understand when carbon monoxide becomes dangerous.
35 PPM Maximum concentration allowed by federal law
200 PPM Headaches, dizziness, or nausea after -3 hours
400 PPM Severe headaches after 1-2 hours, death after 3 hours
1,600 PPM Death in 1 hour
10,000 PPM Death in less than 10 minutes
Signs of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
When too much CO is present in the air you breathe, this can reduce the oxygen in your red blood cells. The following are signs of carbon monoxide poisoning:
- Dull headache
- Dizziness or weakness
- Flu-like symptoms
- Blurry vision
If you recognize any of the above symptoms, visit your local ER as soon as possible. Signs of carbon monoxide poisoning are likely to show up first in children, the elderly, and pets.
We highly encourage homeowners to install carbon monoxide detectors so they can prevent illness or even death. The less carbon monoxide you breathe the better chance you’ll have of making a full recovery.
For carbon monoxide detector services, call Fire Pros at 800-968-2871!
Just because there’s a reading above 0 PPM doesn’t mean you need to evacuate your home and call 911. In general, federal law considers any reading under 35 PPM to be safe for people exposed more than 8 hours. However, this is only a guideline and not an absolute rule.
Fire Protection Services in Grand Rapids, MI
Our fire protection contractors can help you find the best carbon monoxide detector for your home or commercial building.
To learn more about our fire protection services, call Fire Pros at 800-968-2871.Category: