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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.

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.

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 dioxide becomes dangerous.

35 PPM                                 Maximum concentration allowed by federal law

200 PPM                              Headaches, dizziness, or nausea after 2 -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:

  • 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 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.

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.

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.

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Great service! awesome price! very polite and professional!




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Friendly and Professional





Map of Detroit, MI

knowledgable technician




jeff was awesome answered all my questions , was courteous and on time


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Always Professional




Camp and team always exceed expectations. Professional, friendly, and they take ownership of our facilities.


Map of Holland, MI

good service




easy to get along with


Map of Waterford Township, MI

manager





Map of Howell, MI

Excellent Service As Always




I have never had a bad experience with Fire Pros. Alex was very professional helped explain things I did not know. While setting off the alarms he moved quickly as to not disrupt our guest anymore than necessary.


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GREAT SERVICE




Tyler comes to working on the fire system at my location and he is always polite and willing to fix stuff


Map of Detroit, MI

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Great Service




Glad to work with John once again. He shows up in a timely manner, does his inspection and bends over backwards to try to make things as easy and low cost as possible.


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Building 16 Fire Panel Replacement





Dec 2018 monthly Extinguisher / Valve Inspection




Gary is very professional and courteous. He informs the site if there are any issues and we address those issues, when brought to our attention.


As Always Awesome Service




Fire Pros always does a wonderful job. Very professional, always works fast with a very pleasant attitude. Sean always takes time to educate me on the system as well.


Excellent service!




We have worked with Gary for years! We totally trust him. He is great about letting us know what needs attention and what WILL need attention. (a heads up!) Once he has inspected our building... we have a real sense of security.


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Art L.

Art L.

Annual Fire Extinguisher Inspection (18 units)

Near Oak Industrial Dr NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49505
Camp M.

Camp M.

Replaced old bells with weather resistant horn strobes.

Near Concord Pl Dr, Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Mark J.

Mark J.

Furnish necessary parts and labor to add one (1) new 10# ABC w/ cover outside to protect riser room and boiler room. Recommend adding 5# ABC fire extinguishers to pool equipment room. Recommend adding 5# ABC fire extinguisher to 2nd floor electrical room.

Near Petoskey Ave, Charlevoix, MI 49720
Brandon  F.

Brandon F.

Near W Clay Ave, Muskegon, MI 49440
David H.

David H.

Alarm Systems Repair

Near Old Homestead Rd, Glen Arbor, MI 49636
Sean W.

Sean W.

Near W Clay Ave, Muskegon, MI 49440
Art L.

Art L.

Portable Extinguishers Inspection

Near Kiddville St, Belding, MI 48809
Camp M.

Camp M.

Service was requested to disarm 2 tanks.

Near E Michigan Ave, , MI
Jason  Z.

Jason Z.

Alarm Systems Inspection

Near 28th St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49512
Brandon  F.

Brandon F.

Near N Beacon Blvd, Grand Haven, MI 49417
David H.

David H.

Near Bibbins St, Romulus, MI 48174
Mike R.

Mike R.

Mitch called has a missed timer test - Set panel test time for 10:00am.

Near Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Art L.

Art L.

Per Ron they had a Hi-Lo hit the fire door and they want it inspected to make sure everything is still working correctly

Near W Maple St, Belding, MI 48809
Alex R.

Alex R.

Replaced 6-SMOKE ALARMS AND TESTED THAT WERE EXPIRED FROM RECENT INSPECTION ***All systems normal and reset ***

Near Pontiac Lake Rd, Waterford Township, MI 48328
Gary B.

Gary B.

Portable Extinguishers Delivery Return (3) FE pulled during November 2019 inspection

Near Ottawa Ave, Holland, MI 49423
Gary B.

Gary B.

Monthly Fire Extinguisher Inspection Portable Extinguishers Inspection

Near Ottawa Ave, Holland, MI 49423
David H.

David H.

Near E Grand River Ave, Howell, MI 48843
Art L.

Art L.

Kitchen Suppression, Portable Extinguishers, and Emergency / Exit Lights Inspection

Near S Kalamazoo St, Paw Paw, MI 49079
Alex R.

Alex R.

Completed Annual Fire Alarm inspection for 2018

Near Larned St, Detroit, MI 48207
John H.

John H.

Portable Extinguishers Inspection

Near US-2, Manistique, MI 49854
Austin C.

Austin C.

Near N Eaton St, Albion, MI 49224
John H.

John H.

Portable Extinguishers Inspection

Near Old US Hwy 2, Manistique Township, MI 49854
Jason  Z.

Jason Z.

Special Hazards Inspection

Near S Gladwin Rd, Denton Township, MI 48651
David H.

David H.

Quarterly Fire Sprinkler System Inspection (2 wet) (1 dry)

Near W Park Dr, Kalkaska, MI 49646
Jason  Z.

Jason Z.

Special Hazards Inspection

Near S Gladwin Rd, Denton Township, MI 48651