Carbon Monoxide and Detectors
by Building Inspector and Indoor Air Specialist, Dan Schilling
Where does carbon monoxide come from?
Carbon monoxide gas is a by-product of incomplete combustion within common appliances found in the home, such as: gas ranges, gas clothes dryers, gas and oil-fired furnaces and water heaters, and both gas and wood burning fireplaces.
What does carbon monoxide do?
CO is a cumulative poison, which replaces oxygen in the blood where it can completely overcome the body. A victim can become helpless before realizing that danger even exists. At low levels, the victim can experience headaches, nausea, vomiting, or fatigue. With medium exposure, victims can experience throbbing headaches, drowsiness, confusion and a fast heart rate. At high-levels, victims can become unconscious, suffer convulsions, cardio-respiratory failure and death.
How does carbon monoxide get in my house?
Today, carbon monoxide gas poisoning has become a greater threat to health and life than ever before. This is because both newer and older homes are constructed more airtight. Interior air being “pushed out” of the house by exhaust fans, clothes dryers, fireplaces and other appliances can cause carbon monoxide to “move backwards” down flues from water heaters, furnaces, boilers and fireplaces, and linger indoors where it is then inhaled. Other causes promoting carbon monoxide gas in homes include restricted or blocked flue pipes and fresh air intake air vents that may have unknowingly become clogged.
All CO detectors are not the same!
Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors have unquestionably saved many lives since the technology has been available. As with any new technology, there are failures and advancements. Many brands of CO detectors have been subject to recalls. (If you own one you should check.) The chief problems have been with the internal sensors. Most CO detectors (available in stores) have electronic sensors which are subject to failure and vulnerable to false alarms. These false alarms can be caused by other types of gasses, cleaning products, spray aerosols and even high humidity. While the consequences of total sensor failure would likely be death, the type of failure which causes false alarms can result in needless calls to utility companies or fire departments, as well as put people in fear while waiting to find out if there is truly a problem or not.
There is now better CO sensor technology available, and when your life depends on it...you should be using it. It is called "Biomimetic" sensor technology. This improved sensor method uses a synthetic form of hemoglobin in the sensors which mimics the way the human body responds to carbon monoxide poison. Not only are they accurate, but the only thing that can trigger these alarms is carbon monoxide. They are CO specific.
This new, patented technology is available in the Costar 9 SIR detectors.
The 9 SIR detectors have other important features too, some of which surpass any of the best competitor models. These include:
Protection against both acute and chronic effects of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Safety alarm which sounds a piercing alarm to wake people even when sleeping in the presence of dangerous CO levels.
Audible and visual fault conditions warning.
Test button with a silencer/reset button.
Battery operation assures protection 100% of the time, regardless of power outages or electrical outlets located low restrictive areas.
Microprocessor controlled with no calibration required.
Low battery warning signal.
Educational pamphlet about carbon monoxide.
An incredible six year warranty! (Up to three times longer than others)
CO alarms should be placed on each floor where there is a fuel or wood burning appliance, and in halls near bedrooms. They should also be installed inside each bedroom where occupants close the doors while sleeping.
The 9 SIRs are $55.00 each.
with those you care about.
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