Opening windows does not provide enough ventilation to be protective. CO is an invisible, odorless gas that can be fatal. If you breathe in a lot of CO gas, it can make you pass out or kill you. People who are sleeping or drunk can die from CO poisoning before they have symptoms.
Opening a window will slow carbon monoxide poisoning, but it likely won't stop it. There simply isn't enough airflow through most windows to get rid of the poisonous gas, and it could take between four and eight hours for the CO to dissipate entirely.
If the carbon monoxide concentration in the air is much higher, signs of poisoning may occur within 1-2 hours. A very high carbon monoxide concentration can even kill an exposed individual within 5 minutes.
You are unable to see or smell the gas, but it can nevertheless cause serious injuries and even death. There is a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning when you sleep in a room where a conventional coal or gas fire, a log burner, a cooker, or a back burner is left on overnight.
This means that if you are breathing fresh, carbon monoxide-free air, it will take five hours to get half the carbon monoxide out of your system. Then it will take another five hours to cut that level in half, and so on.
A carbon monoxide detector is a must for any home and just as important as a smoke detector. CO detectors should be placed near all bedrooms; they're the only way you will know if carbon monoxide is affecting the air quality in your home, and can help prevent serious illness and even death.
Carbon monoxide is a gas that has no odor, color or taste. You wouldn't be able to see or smell it, but it can be very dangerous to your health and even fatal.
Carbon monoxide levels must build up in your home before an alarm goes off. Since an alarm measures the amount of carbon monoxide over a certain period, it could take your detector hours to go off or 10 or 20 minutes if you have a lot of gas building up in your home.
At sustained CO concentrations above 150 to 200 ppm, disorientation, unconsciousness, and death are possible.
There's a myth that carbon monoxide alarms should be installed lower on the wall because carbon monoxide is heavier than air. In fact, carbon monoxide is slightly lighter than air and diffuses evenly throughout the room.
Carbon Monoxide Sources in the Home
Water heaters. Furnaces or boilers. Fireplaces, both gas and wood burning. Gas stoves and ovens.
Carbon monoxide is in fumes (smoke) from: Car and truck engines. Small gasoline engines. Fuel-burning space heaters (not electric).
A carbon monoxide alarm should be installed on every floor of a home, including the basement and near sleeping areas. It should also be installed near or over an attached garage at least 5 feet off the floor or on the ceiling.
One skill sometimes credited to dogs is the ability to sense or detect carbon monoxide. Unfortunately, even a dog's incredible nose can't detect carbon monoxide, though pets can still play an important role in the early detection of poisonous gas.
On many carbon monoxide alarms, the red light flashes to show the CO alarm is properly receiving battery power. For these alarms, when you do not see the red light flashing, change the batteries in the alarm immediately.
Outlook (Prognosis) Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause death. For those who survive, recovery is slow. How well a person does depends on the amount and length of exposure to the carbon monoxide.
In others, a steady or blinking green light on a carbon monoxide detector can mean it's detected a** low-level presence of carbon monoxide**. If the presence increased, it would cause the alarm to sound. It could also mean it's time to replace the battery, especially if it's also chirping.
The CO alarm sounds if your sensor detects a buildup of carbon monoxide in your home—usually before you start sensing symptoms. With a low CO level (50 ppm), it may take up to eight hours for the alarm to go off. Higher carbon monoxide levels (over 150 ppm) can trigger an alarm within minutes.
Symptoms of mild carbon monoxide poisoning are headaches, dizziness, sore throat, dry cough and nausea, all of which could easily be confused with viral cold and flu infections, food poisoning or general tiredness.
Carbon monoxide is also known as the “silent killer” since it's an odorless, colorless, and tasteless gas. It's slightly lighter than air but not enough to rise to the ceiling in a room. Instead, it tends to disperse itself, mixing with the air and spreading throughout a space.
Carbon monoxide is harmful when breathed because it displaces oxygen in the blood and deprives the heart, brain and other vital organs of oxygen. Large amounts of CO can overcome you in minutes without warning — causing you to lose consciousness and suffocate.