A silent killer is carbon monoxide, a toxic gas that can be produced by malfunctioning fuel-burning devices or other household appliances.It can’t be seen with the naked eye, but it is fatal to humans in relatively small amounts.It can cause long-term health effects even when it isn’t fatal.By making yourself aware of the causes and warning signs, purchasing and correctly installing CO detectors, and remaining vigilant about monitoring, you can prevent harmful CO accumulation in your home.
Step 1: Purchase equipment.
You can buy a CO detector at a home improvement store.They cost as little as $15.
Step 2: There are optional features that should be considered.
There are a number of features you should consider.The sound of a CO detector can be heard within 10 feet.If you or someone in your house has hearing problems, you may want a louder horn.There are some detectors that can be connected with each other.The others will do the same when one goes off.It’s ideal for a bigger house.The lifespan of the sensor can be checked.The sensor filament of your unit should last at least five years.You can get an exact read on the CO measured in the air with a digital display from some detectors.It’s not necessary, but it may help you detect harmful accumulations more quickly.
Step 3: The right spots can be found.
If you have more than 3 rooms, you will want to use multiple detectors.They should be placed in areas where CO accumulates.CO will rise toward the ceiling because it is lighter than air.The ceiling should be as close to the wall as possible.If you have multiple stories in your home, you should have at least one on each level.One detector should be placed near each sleeping area.They should not be placed in the kitchen, garage, or near a fireplace.The rooms will experience short-term spikes in CO that are not harmful and will cause the alarms to go off unnecessarily.
Step 4: Understand the display and sound settings.
You will need to read the manual thoroughly if you want to understand the display and sound settings.A number that tells you the amount of CO in Parts-per Million is included in most digital displays.Many will have an auto power-off feature.
Step 5: The detectors should be installed.
Instructions to install should come with the unit.You don’t need to make many trips if you have the necessary tools for the detector.You need a sturdy ladder to place them on the wall.You will probably need a drill.The unit will likely have screws on it.
Step 6: The batteries should be replaced.
Most units run on batteries.When the batteries are low, the unit should emit a noise.At all times, make sure you have at least one spare pack of the necessary battery type.
Step 7: The health symptoms should be recognized.
CO poisoning can be fatal.There are signs to look out for when it comes to CO poisoning.The main symptoms are headaches, muscle weakness, dizziness, nausea, shortness of breath, confusion, blurred vision, and loss of consciousness.If you notice all of these symptoms at the same time, get into fresh air immediately and seek medical attention.
Step 8: It’s a good idea to look for humidity and dew build up.
Water condensation on table tops or on the inside of window panes is a sign of CO build up.If you notice indoor humidity, don’t panic, it can be caused by a host of different causes.If you notice medical symptoms or other signs of accumulate, you should be on alert.
Step 9: The pilot lights go out frequently.
If the pilot light in your water heating or gas stove goes out frequently, flickering, or emitting a strange flame, this can be a sign of CO in the air.It could be a sign of a faulty pilot light, so don’t panic unless you are also noticing health symptoms.To inspect it more closely, contact a plumbing or electrician.
Step 10: There are fuel-burning engines indoors.
Cars, power generators, and anything else that burns oil will emit a lot of CO.You should always run a generator outdoors.If you run your car’s engine in a garage with the door closed, you will experience serious and potentially fatal poisoning within minutes.If you find a running engine and feel the symptoms of CO poisoning, get fresh air and seek medical attention.
Step 11: Vents should be clear.
It is possible to accumulate carbon monoxide in your house.Dust and other debris can build up in the cracks of the air conditioning vent.Unless you see a lot of debris in the vents, you don’t need to clean them.It is a good idea to remove the vent cover at least once a year.The vent cover should be removed when you clean them.Dust can be removed by putting the vent cover under water and wiping it down with a paper towel.Put it back on the vent with another paper towel.
Step 12: The fireplace and chimney need to be cleaned.
CO is a primary cause oflogged chimneys.If you only use your fireplace once or twice a year, you need to have the chimney cleaned.It’s a good idea to have your fireplace cleaned every 4 months.Without the proper tools, you won’t be able to adequately clean a chimney.Hire a professional if you don’t know how to use an extended scrubber.It is a good idea to remove soot from the fireplace to prevent CO build up.Use a heavy-duty cleaner like ammonia to spray down the inside of the fireplace and then scrub it with an abrasive scrubber.Purchase a surgical mask if you use a corrosive chemical.
Step 13: Make sure to check cooking hardware.
Cooking devices can emit CO.If you use it frequently, you should check your oven for soot every other week and clean it with ammonia and an abrasive scrubber.If you notice that there is a lot of soot in the oven, you should have an electrician look at it.Smaller ovens can emit harmful amounts of CO.If you need to clean the heating filament, check for soot around it.
Step 14: There is smoke outdoors.
Smoke outside if you are a tobacco smoker.Smoking indoors can lead to a serious CO build up.