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 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.
According to carbon monoxide experts, carbon monoxide alarms should be located outside of each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms, and each alarm should be installed on the wall, ceiling or other location as specified by the alarm's instruction manual.
Where should carbon monoxide alarms be placed in each room? Carbon monoxide alarms can be placed anywhere in the room. Contrary to popular belief that CO is heavier than air, CO alarms can be placed on the wall or the ceiling and will be just as effective.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Carbon Monoxide Detection Systems Checklist mobile app inspects Carbon Monoxide Detection Systems using an iPad, iPhone, Android device, or a Windows desktop.
Finding points out importance of having alarms, even if no source of the lethal gas is in the home itself. TUESDAY, Aug. 20, 2013 (HealthDay News) -- Carbon monoxide gas can pass easily through drywall, and poison those living inside a home, apartment or condo, researchers from Seattle report.
In domestic properties, your CO alarm can be triggered by any fuel burning appliance such as gas cookers, boilers and ovens. All of these appliances give off small traces of CO, but the levels can rise slightly when adequate ventilation isn't provided, or the venting is blocked or clogged by dust.
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.
You should place a CO detector in each major area of your home: in the kitchen, in your living/dining room, in your bedrooms, and the office. If you have children or elderly family members living with you, provide extra protection near their rooms.
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.
Carbon monoxide is in fumes (smoke) from: Car and truck engines. Small gasoline engines. Fuel-burning space heaters (not electric).
Self Checks/At-Home Testing
There isn't a self-diagnosis option for carbon monoxide poisoning, but anyone with confusion or a loss of consciousness should have 911 called for them.
Most people with a mild exposure to carbon monoxide experience headaches, fatigue, and nausea. Unfortunately, the symptoms are easily overlooked because they are often flu-like. Medium exposure can cause you to experience a throbbing headache, drowsiness, disorientation, and an accelerated heart rate.
Where is CO found? CO is found in fumes produced any time you burn fuel in cars or trucks, small engines, stoves, lanterns, grills, fireplaces, gas ranges, or furnaces. CO can build up indoors and poison people and animals who breathe it.
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.
Carbon Monoxide Sources in the Home
Water heaters. Furnaces or boilers. Fireplaces, both gas and wood burning. Gas stoves and ovens.
On First Alert carbon monoxide alarms, the red light flashes to show the CO alarm is properly receiving battery power. If you do not see the red light flashing, change the batteries in the alarm immediately.
Call 911 immediately and report that the alarm has gone off. Do not assume it is safe to reenter the home when the alarm stops. When you open windows and doors, it helps diminish the amount of carbon monoxide in the air, but the source may still be producing the gas.
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.