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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, Traverse City, and Wyoming.

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

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Mike R.

Mike R.

NAC 1 BOOSTER PANEL BY FACP: Batteries in NAC 1 panel are due for replacement due to age. They are (2) 12V 7AH batteries. - repair

Near W Grand River Ave, Williamston, MI 48895
Mark S.

Mark S.

Near Dobry Dr, Sterling Heights, MI 48314
William S.

William S.

Wet: Perform a 5-year internal assessment of system piping that is due. If an obstruction is present, this can render the sprinkler system not properly operate in the case of a fire. NFPA 25 (14.2.1.1) An assessment of the internal condition of piping shall be conducted at a minimum of every 5 years or in accordance with 14.2.1.2 to inspect for the presence of foreign organic and inorganic material. Wet: Perform a 5-year internal inspection of the Fire Department Connection (FDC) check valve. Check is in the basement, next to the bathroom, up in the floor joist. NFPA 25 (13.4.2.1) Check valves shall be inspected internally every 5 years to verify that all components operate correctly, move freely, and are in good condition. Wet: Add the missing spare sprinkler heads in the spare headbox. NFPA 25 (5.4.1.5.4) The stock of spare sprinklers shall include all types and ratings installed and shall be as follows; Facilities having 300-1000 sprinklers – minimum of 12 spare sprinklers

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

Tyler H.

Mike Price just called- said the panel has been beeping since we left.

Near Danvers Ct SE, Kentwood, MI 49512
Mike R.

Mike R.

Heat Detectors above Reception Desk and in Directors office are not tied into system and require removal or repair. Areas are currently covered by smoke detectors. - repair Heat Detectors throughout (4) require replacement due to age/condition. Detectors reflect Manf Dates from 1983 to 1999 4 - System Sensor 135 degree fixed / ROR detectors - repair Phone line 1 has voltage, no dial. Phone line 2 has heavy static on line. Phone lines are in disrepair and have been a continuing issue per the Director. Recommend installation of Cellular Communicator at location. - repair This quote is for the repairs and to add cellular communication to the fire alarm panel .

Near N Lilley Rd, Canton, MI 48187
David H.

David H.

Near Thomas Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48108
Alex H.

Alex H.

Near Dequindre Rd, Madison Heights, MI 48071
Art L.

Art L.

Portable Extinguishers Inspection

Near E Paris Ave SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
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Tyler H.

Annual Fire Alarm Inspection Edwards fire alarm panel, 3 booster panels, 15 initiating devices, 25 indicating devices

Near Brown St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49507
Robert G.

Robert G.

Near Smith Rd, Fowlerville, MI 48836
Jared J.

Jared J.

Portable Extinguishers and Fire Hose Inspection

Near Farmington Rd, Farmington Hills, MI 48334
George S.

George S.

Near E Scripps Rd, Orion charter Township, MI 48360
Brandon  F.

Brandon F.

Completed puff test and relocated pull station per fire Marshall request.

Near E Grand River Rd, East Lansing, MI 48823
William S.

William S.

Wet Stairwell next to Community Room B Riser: Remove and replace the outdated gauge. NFPA 25 (13.2.7.2) Gauges shall be replaced every 5 years Wet Stairwell next to Community Room B Riser: Perform a 5-year internal assessment of system piping that is due. If an obstruction is present, this can render the sprinkler system not properly operate in the case of a fire (8' ladder needed). NFPA 25 (14.2.1.1) An assessment of the internal condition of piping shall be conducted at a minimum of every 5 years or in accordance with 14.2.1.2 to inspect for the presence of foreign organic and inorganic material. Wet Stairwell next to Community Room B Riser: Perform a 5-year internal inspection of the Fire Department Connection (FDC) check valve. NFPA 25 (13.4.2.1) Check valves shall be inspected internally every 5 years to verify that all components operate correctly, move freely, and are in good condition.

Near Jupiter Ave NE, Plainfield charter Township, MI 49306
Art L.

Art L.

Industrial/Dry Chemical Suppression Repair

Near 29th St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512
Sean W.

Sean W.

Near Health Dr SW, Wyoming, MI 49519
John  R.

John R.

Near Wiersma St NE, Cedar Springs, MI 49319
Art L.

Art L.

Portable Extinguishers Inspection

Near W Main St, Lowell, MI 49331
Mark S.

Mark S.

Near N Dawson St, Sandusky, MI 48471
George S.

George S.

Near Giddings Rd, Orion charter Township, MI 48359
David H.

David H.

Near Washtenaw Ave, Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Art L.

Art L.

Emergency / Exit Lights and Portable Extinguishers Inspection

Near 44th St SE, Kentwood, MI 49512
John  R.

John R.

Near Griswold St, Hart, MI 49420
Sean W.

Sean W.

Near Central Blvd, Hudsonville, MI 49426
Mark S.

Mark S.

Near N Dawson St, Sandusky, MI 48471