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How to Read a Carbon Monoxide Detector

emergency exit signsOver 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
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • 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!

Stay Calm

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.

Fire Pros is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and offers services around Cadillac, Grayling, Holland, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Muskegon, Norton Shores, Portage, Roscommon, Saginaw and Wyoming.

To learn more about our fire protection services, call Fire Pros at (800) 968-2871.

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William S.

William S.

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Near W State St, Hastings, MI 49058
William S.

William S.

Sprinkler Inspection

Near Health Dr SW, Wyoming, MI 49519
Alex H.

Alex H.

Near Northpointe Blvd, Utica, MI 48315
William S.

William S.

Sprinkler Inspection

Near Burlingame Ave SW, Wyoming, MI 49509
Mark S.

Mark S.

Near Calhoun St, Dearborn, MI 48126
Alex R.

Alex R.

Completed annual Fire Extinguisher inspection for 2022

Near W Michigan Ave, Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Terrence  J.

Terrence J.

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Near Charles H Orndorf Dr, Brighton, MI 48116
William S.

William S.

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Near Wealthy St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506
Ron  R.

Ron R.

Near Nathan's Wy, Grand Haven, MI 49417
David H.

David H.

Near E Oakland Ave, Lansing, MI 48906
Art L.

Art L.

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Near Market Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Robert G.

Robert G.

Near Allen Rd, Woodhaven, MI 48183
Brandon  F.

Brandon F.

Completed fire extinguisher inspection

Near Cascade Rd SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
David H.

David H.

Near Turf Ln, East Lansing, MI 48823
Robert G.

Robert G.

Near E River Rd, Grosse Ile Township, MI 48138
David H.

David H.

Near Jomar Ct, Lansing, MI 48917
Mike R.

Mike R.

Fire Alarm Inspection- 110v FACP in basement laundry room. (6) mp's (3) Horns

Near Clyde Park Ave SW, Wyoming, MI 49509
Terrence  J.

Terrence J.

Sprinkler Inspection Annual Sprinkler System Inspection (1 wet system) 5-Year Internal Due: 2024 FDC Hydro Due: 2024

Near Family Dr, Milford Charter Township, MI 48381
Mike R.

Mike R.

This quote is for an alarm tech to come out and re-install 5 speaker strobes in new ceiling tiles in the main entrance. There is a Wall speaker strobe above the ceiling that needs to be spliced through. Also turn down speakers on the devices the area is open now and doesn't need to be so load. This quote does not include permits if for some reason that its needed there will be an additional quote.

Near 44th St SW, Wyoming, MI 49519
Art L.

Art L.

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Near Chicago Dr SW, Wyoming, MI 49509
Art L.

Art L.

Portable Extinguishers and Emergency / Exit Lights Inspection

Near Front Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
David H.

David H.

Near 32nd St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49548
Mike R.

Mike R.

This quote is for an alarm tech to come out and re-install 5 speaker strobes in new ceiling tiles in the main entrance. There is a Wall speaker strobe above the ceiling that needs to be spliced through. Also turn down speakers on the devices the area is open now and doesn't need to be so load. This quote does not include permits if for some reason that its needed there will be an additional quote.

Near 44th St SW, Wyoming, MI 49519
Mark S.

Mark S.

Near Dixie Hwy, Clarkston, MI 48348
Terrence  J.

Terrence J.

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