Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless gas that can be lethal to humans in high enough quantities. Carbon monoxide is hard to detect and extremely deadly, but with the right precautions and detection methods it can be avoided. In this article we will discuss what carbon monoxide is, how it affects people and animals, and finally how you can protect your home from CO leakages.
1. What is carbon monoxide and how does it affect people
Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that is colorless, odorless, tasteless, and non-irritating. It's colorless, which means it can't be seen and it has no smell which means you cannot smell the gas. Carbon monoxide (CO) can have different levels of toxicity to humans depending on how much exposure there has been. Occupational CO exposure guidelines say that any concentration over 9 parts per million (ppm) should be considered dangerous. Exposure levels below 30 ppm are not usually considered to be dangerous, but in high concentrations it becomes more harmful. The major signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are headache, dizziness, confusion, impaired judgment, nausea or vomiting and flu-like symptoms
2. How to detect CO
Testing for the presence of carbon monoxide is not an exact science, but there are a few things that can help you determine whether or not it's present in your home. First take note of any strange smells coming from your gas appliances like propane-based cooking devices and kerosene heaters - these might indicate natural gas leaks which release dangerous levels of CO into homes. If they're providing hot water to your kitchen sink this could also be indicative if leaking plumbing pipes under sinks have allowed sewer gases containing high concentrations CO2 seep up through floor drains into kitchens where people cook on their stovetops; check this by lifting up all toilet lids in bathrooms located below ground level. Next look at how many times per day you use your gas appliances and check if you're using more than 30% of the maximum capacity for your stovetop or oven - this could indicate that CO is being released. Third, look at any warning lights on heating units which might be indicating a problem with their operation; these may also emit high levels of CO into homes when functioning improperly. Finally take note of any unusual odors in your home.
CO detectors are the best way to detect when CO levels are too high. We recommend that all homes have a detector installed on each level of the home. Carbon Monoxide is also dangerous for animals, so we recommend adding in detectors for them as well!
CO detectors have two types of sensors in them, one that detects high concentrations and the other that detects low-level exposure. The alarms will sound when either sensor is triggered. You should always make sure your CO detector has fresh batteries before installation
3. How you can protect your home from a CO leak
The first step to protecting your home from CO is to have a CO detector. This device will sound the alarm if CO levels are too high and make it possible for you to escape the situation. But giving yourself enough time to escape is important: you should never sleep with a CO detector, because when you're asleep the gas can still affect you even if you don't know it's there. Furthermore, make sure that other people in the house know where the detectors are and what they sound like so that they can keep watch. You may also want to try using a freestanding carbon monoxide monitor which will detect carbon monoxide leakages before they become dangerous.
4. Concluding thoughts on the dangers of carbon monoxide
Carbon Monoxide is deadly and hard to detect, but there are a few ways that you can protect your home from CO leaks. First make sure you have a detector on each level of the house and replace the batteries annually or sooner if they stop working. Second, know what signs to look for when checking for gas leaks in your kitchen: strange smells coming from appliances like propane-based cooking devices and kerosene heaters; hot water providing to your kitchen sink; toilets below ground level releasing sewer gases with high concentrations of CO2 seeping up through floor drains into kitchens where people cook on their stovetops. Third, be mindful of warning lights on heating units which might emit high levels of CO into homes when functioning improperly.