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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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Alex R.

Alex R.

Completed Annual Fire Extinguisher, Emergency Light and Smoke/Co Alarm inspections for 2020

Near Egan St, Clinton Township, MI 48035
Mike R.

Mike R.

Telgard cell radio is a 3G and is in constant failure. Signal strength fluctuates from .5 to 2.5 bars continuously.This radio should be upgraded to 4G LTE as soon as possible. I have an outside wall about 15 feet from radio. Also need a 25 foot outdoor cable with outdoor rated antenna. - repair

Near 16th Ave, Marne, MI 49435
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John R.

Near 16th Ave, Marne, MI 49435
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Jason Z.

Special Hazards and Alarm Systems Inspection

Near W 14 Mile Rd, Troy, MI 48083
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Near Trumbull, Detroit, MI 48208
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Near 40th St SE, Kentwood, MI 49512
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Zachary B.

Near W 14 Mile Rd, Troy, MI 48083
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Gary B.

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Near Riley St, Holland, MI 49424
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Near W 14 Mile Rd, Troy, MI 48083
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Jim S.

9/25 - Scheduled with Maria.  mh Perform required six-year maintenance on (1) 10lb. ABC fire extinguisher, replace (1) out of date 10lb. ABC fire extinguisher with new and replace (4) dead 6V5A batteries with new. A total of (9) emergency lights will require an electrician. Notice of Non Compliance and Repair Proposal Fire Systems of Michigan recently inspected the fire extinguishers at your establishment in accordance with applicable state statutes, local fire codes and NFPA guidelines. While inspecting your extinguishers, they were determined to be "Non-Compliant" per local fire codes. The attached proposal summarizes the non-compliance issues that were found during the inspection and the costs and actions needed to correct them. Please contact me as soon as possible to review the attached proposal and schedule the repair to your fire extinguishers. I look forward to working with you to bring your extinguishers into compliance. To discuss this proposal, please contact: Randy Pattee.

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Jim S.

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Alex R.

Completed Annual Fire Extinguisher Inspection for 2020

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John H.

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