Browsing posts in: carbon monoxide detection

CO Detection Techniques

sensor for carbon monoxide

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is one of most deadly poisonous gases, and the most common. Produced by incomplete combustion processes when burning fuels like propane, natural gas, methane, and even wood products, carbon monoxide invades the oxygen in the body, replacing it, causing the bloodstream to be ridden with carbon monoxide, which can lead to death.

There are many symptoms that come before this including headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion, vomiting, incapacitation, and trouble breathing. It’s important to be aware of how carbon monoxide can affect the body so if these symptoms occur you’re better prepared. It’s also important to note that the flu can be easily confused with carbon monoxide poisoning. Some aspects that are different include confusion and difficulty thinking clearly, which goes along with carbon monoxide poisoning but not the flu. Additionally, the flu carries fever with it, so a simple test with a thermometer will help you figure out which is which. However, going straight to the doctor or ER if symptoms are sever enough is the safest, most effective way to treat these behaviors.

Installing a carbon monoxide detector is absolutely necessary in any residence, as the gas can’t be detected any other way. It’s odorless, colorless, extremely light (lighter than air), and can emit high levels quickly. There are several different methods of detection offered, as well, according to Grainger Technical Resources, including:digital carbon monoxide sensor

  • Detector tubes, which alert you of instantaneous carbon monoxide in the air at any time through detection media. When the gas is detection inside the confines of the tube, detection software changes color to indicate the levels of carbon monoxide and determine the dose.
  • Portable carbon monoxide detection sensors monitor the levels of carbon monoxide in any given space. They are usually digital and produce both audio and visual alarms to alert users of danger. These devices are handy in confined spaces or even for recreational activities, such as camping, where there are open flames and fuels being used.
  • Fixed-location detectors are installed in the home or the workplace and monitor the continuous levels of carbon monoxide. They sound an alarm when gas levels are too high and can be used alongside home monitoring systems and other transmitters. Some are even capable of opening doors and windows when carbon monoxide levels are high to prevent serious injury or harm.

In-home detectors can be digital, like Nest’s version. This system uses WiFi to connect users to monitoring at all times. If carbon monoxide levels reach a dangerous level, the monitoring system will sound an alert and can even contact you via cell phone if you’re out of town or not home.

Regardless of which system you have, it’s important that you have at least one monitor in your home, preferably installed in common areas outside of the bedrooms. Without them, you’re at an increasingly high risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

pets and carbon monoxideIf you or a loved one is exhibiting symptoms of carbon monoxide, make sure to exit the home, get to a doctor or hospital, and check all your appliances to see if any are in poor condition. The more we use our household tools, like furnaces, clothes dryers, water heaters, gas-powered stoves and ranges, grills, and even cars, the more we’re producing this dangerous gas. Keep your home well ventilated, never burn charcoal indoors, and always be sure to have your appliances professionally installed and checked at least once a year. Dangerous gases can build up in things like fireplaces and chimneys, so it’s integral to have them cleaned and tested to ensure everything is running as it should.

And, as always, never be shy about reaching out to a home security professional with questions or concerns regarding the best options for you and your family.

How to Keep Your Family Safe From Carbon Monoxide


The first thing to know about Carbon Monoxide (CO) is that you won’t be able to detect it without an alarm or monitor, that is. The poisonous gas is clear, odorless, and powerful, which makes it one of the most deadly household contaminant around.

If carbon monoxide is so common and so dangerous, why is it that over 400 people die from its toxins a year according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC)? Well, for starters, because carbon monoxide is basically invisible it’s not thought of as often as you may think. Most people are concerned about making sure their smoke alarms and security systems are working properly, and may forget about the carbon monoxide monitors. We see smoke and intruders, therefore they feel like more realistic threats. However, knowing how serious carbon monoxide can be is a great jumping off point to learning how to protect you and your family.

Get Your Home Ready

There are many appliances and everyday housewares that greatly contribute to carbon monoxide production, and proper care is important in keeping carbon monoxide at reasonable levels. To maintain your home, follow these tips from the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission.carbon monoxide and chimneys

  • To reduce carbon monoxide emissions, make sure your home heating systems are installed by professionals and are tested to work correctly. Any discrepancy could create carbon monoxide leaks, causing you and your family harm. Additionally, always have these systems cleaned and serviced at least once a year, and don’t forget to have the vents and chimneys checked and cleaned, as well.
  • Never use portable generators inside the home, regardless if you have the windows open or not. These devices produce an abundance of carbon monoxide, and the breeze from an open window isn’t enough to filter out the production of poisonous gas.
  • Don’t burn charcoal in the home for any reason. Whether it be from a grill or stove, charcoal produces a large amount of carbon monoxide and is one of the worst offenders for buildup. To be even more cautious, it’s advised to refrain from using charcoal-burning grills inside garages as well. If you’re going to use charcoal for cooking or other recreational activities, be sure to do it outside and far away from the home.
  • Although sometimes it’s tempting in the cold winter months, never use your gas-range stove to heat your home. This is like playing with fire, except scarier because you can’t see just how much deadly gas is being emitted.
  • If you have fireplace, make sure to always open the chute before burning the wood and keep it open until the fire is completely out. If the chute is closed, an abundance of smoke will fill your home, but there will also be a much greater risk for carbon monoxide to fill the space. Keeping your chimney open reduces the buildup of poisonous gases.
  • carbon monoxide detectorOne of the best ways to protect your family from this dangerous gas is installing a carbon monoxide detector. This device, which works like a smoke alarm, will sound as soon as carbon monoxide levels reach a toxic amount, helping you get your family out of the home before it’s too late. If you purchase a digital detector, these can show you the levels of carbon monoxide and how they rise and fall, helping you keep a closer eye on the production of this dangerous gas in your home. Additionally, if you have a security system, you can link your carbon monoxide monitor to your home system so that if an emergency occurs, you and the proper authorities will be alerted immediately.

Following these guidelines is a smart way to keep your family safe, while maintaining a healthy home environment. To learn more, contact your home security provider.

Carbon Monoxide 101: The Basics You Need to Know

keeping your family safe from carbon monoxide

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is incredibly common, so much so, that we often forget about it. This can be a dangerous mistake, as carbon monoxide can cause serious bodily damage and even death. Knowing what it is, what causes it, and how it can impact your life are important aspects to understanding the severity of this dangerous gas.

What is carbon monoxide?

carbon monoxide safetyCarbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, poisonous gas that can be fatal with prolonged exposure. It forms with incomplete burning of an array of fuels, such as coal, wood, charcoal, oil, kerosene, propane, and natural gas, and can be found in the fumes of these substances. Carbon monoxide can build up when stoves, grills, fireplaces, furnaces, gas rangers, and gas rangers aren’t cleaned and care for properly.

How can you detect carbon monoxide?

Without a monitor, carbon monoxide can be incredibly difficult to notice. Since the gas is basically invisible—with no smell, color, or odor—you’ll only be able to tell its there because of symptoms. However, installing a carbon monoxide detector is the best, and the absolute safest way to keep tabs on carbon monoxide levels in your home. Most detectors will sound when levels reach dangerous peaks. However, many carbon monoxide detectors are now digital and display the carbon monoxide levels and track their movements so you can see exactly how safe the air in your home is at all times.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide

Many people describe symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning as flu-like, and can range in severity depending on the amount of carbon monoxide in the air. Moderate carbon monoxide poisoning comes with headache, dizziness, fatigue, and upset stomach. However, if symptoms go unnoticed or untreated, they can worsen, including weakness, vomiting, chest pains, confusion, disorientation, loss of muscular coordination, fainting, and death.

Considering how difficult it is to detect carbon monoxide and how similar the symptoms are to many other illnesses and disorders, carbon monoxide poisoning often goes untreated and can cause serious repercussions. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 400 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning, 4,000 are hospitalized, and 20,000 are taken to the emergency room.

How to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning

To reduce carbon monoxide emissions, there are a few things you can do on your own to try and manage this dangerous gas. Never burn charcoal in your home, never use portable fuel-burning equipment in the home (camping gear, lanterns, grills, etc.), and always make sure your appliances are installed properly and done by a professional. These precautions can help reduce the risk of carbon monoxide leaks and excess production in the home.

The best way to regulate carbon monoxide emissions is by installing a carbon monoxide detector, which is the most precise method to keeping your home safe. From the most basic, battery-powered detectors to high tech digital models, these devices measure the amounts of carbon monoxide in the air and when levels become dangerous, an alarm will alert you and your family. To make sure your alarms are working as they should, replace carbon monoxide detectors every five years and make sure to run tests every few months to ensure they’re working effectively.

house plants and carbon dioxideOne last important thing to know about carbon monoxide is that it isn’t the same as carbon dioxide (CO2). While the two are odorless, clear gases that can be deadly, CO2 is a naturally occurring byproduct human and animal breath combined with chemical reactions, and the combustion of fossil fuels. Plants need CO2 to survive, and it’s rare for humans to have CO2 poisoning, as our bodies are built to balance the emissions of this gas. So whenever you see the 2 after carbon monoxide, you know you’re dealing with the less harmful of the two gases.

Talk to your security team about how you can ensure your home is protected from carbon monoxide best, and the many ways you can keep it that way.

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