What are the main CO monitor features?

Recommended monitors can be identified as they carry the British standard kite mark showing they are certified and have an audible alarm. These typically have batteries which will last for up to five years and have a deafening alarm which goes off when carbon monoxide is detected giving you time to evacuate the room. You should avoid the cheaper monitors which have a chemical spot displaying a particular colour which will change to another colour when high carbon monoxide levels are detected. These are not recommended as they have a life of around six months and you must remember to replace them regularly. The lack of the audible alarm in a chemical detector means that this type of monitor cannot alert you at night when you are asleep. Many types of shops carry these detectors and smoke alarms also.

Can the general public purchase carbon monoxide detectors?

CO monitors are important household aids in detecting carbon monoxide and giving early warning of potential problems. In recent years there are several types of detectors becoming available for purchase on the high street. CO monitors track the slow and threatening buildup of carbon monoxide over time and are triggered at a predetermined level. Smoke detectors are now commonplace and are employed in many homes and the underlying design and use of these items is reliable, at the time of reading this you may find that carbon monoxide detectors are not yet assessed as reliable as smoke detectors but the time is fast arriving. Carbon monoxide (CO) detectors can be used as a backup but not as a replacement for proper use and maintenance of your fuel-burning appliances.

The advantages of installing a Carbon Monoxide detection unit in your home

The best way to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, should the gas the present, is to get alerted to the fact early so that people can exceed the room and access clean air perhaps outside the building. The presence of a carbon monoxide detector can make this difference as they are designed to provide the required early warning. Installing a detector will give a healthy adult early warning of carbon monoxide emissions before they reach fatal levels or at least the levels at which an adult would be displaying symptoms of poisoning. Carbon monoxide detectors have installation requirements separate from those of smoke detectors and do not need to be installed at the top of a wall or on the ceiling. When you are thinking of the installation position of a Carbon Monoxide detector make sure that it is installed where the alarm is quite audible from areas of the house where you may spend some time such as a bedroom, you will appreciate that you need to here the alarm when sleeping and be woken when it is triggered.

Test your CO Detectors

Make a note to test your detector on a regular basis to ensure it is working. As with all electronic devices there should be an instruction leaflet advising you how to use the title, study this carefully.. Check your detector each month to check that it is operating quite satisfactorily, replace it if any faults are found. The ‘test’ facility that is often included on an alarm tests the sounder and of course the battery not its detection capabilities. Be aware that the average life span of many carbon monoxide detectors is about 2 years Some detectors last up to 5 years and operate off the mains or battery. You will need to select a model that fully meets all your needs. Combination smoke detector and CO detectors are available and should also be installed in accordance with the manufacturer instructions.

Carbon Monoxide and boilers, what to be aware of

Carbon Monoxide is one of the most poisonous gases and it is undetectable with no smell or taste. It can be produced by a boiler when there is a lack of oxygen in the air supply to the combustion chamber, it is also produced by faulty gas fires and other gas appliances. The normal exhaust and waste gases from a boiler, or other commonly found gas appliances such as a domestic gas fire, contain Carbon Dioxide, this is unfortunately replaced by Carbon Monoxide when the oxygen levels are reduced. Tragically there are 30 carbon monoxide poisoning deaths every year and many more injuries although this could be worse without the implementation of ventilation guidelines and adoption of regular boiler servicing.

How can I see I have a problem?

One way of visually checking for potential problems is to check for signs of staining, sooting or discoloration on or around gas boilers, fires and water heaters. A yellow hew to your pilot light is an early indication of inefficiency in the gas combustion chamber which may be caused by a lack of oxygen through poor ventilation. If the pilot light in your system starts burning yellow you should have the boiler serviced by a trained engineer without delay.

What should I do to protect my household from carbon monoxide poisoning ?

Carbon monoxide is output from a boiler when there is not enough oxygen available for the flame to burn all the gas in the combustion chamber. Gas appliance engineers will check the ventilation and combustion efficiency of your gas appliances during the regular maintenance visits eliminating the causes of poor combustion. Any engineer you contract to provide a regular, 12 fully is recommended, service to your gas appliances should be CORGI (now called “gas safe”) registered which will ensure that they have the training required to complete the task to the required standards. Carbon monoxide detectors can give a warning of abnormal carbon monoxide levels, models with a loud alarm are the most effective at warning the inhabitants of the home. Provision of the recommended ventilation to gas appliances is essential and you should regularly inspect any ventilation vents to ensure that the flow of air can be maintained. As hard as it sounds garden shrubs and climbers can also pose a danger to you as their growth over the summer period can lead to them blocking important ventilation grills. And make sure your chimney doesn’t become blocked with birds’ nests or other debris. Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors make different sounds. Put some effort into training your family to recognise the sound of the various alarms so that they are aware of the differences and that they take the correct action when one of your detectors is triggered.

What will Carbon Monoxide Poisoning result in?

We are talking of a deadly gas here so taking any risks would be fool hardy.Do not read this or other articles and form your own judgement. Quick action can save your and your family’s lives. Carbon monoxide is not selective and will impact anyone, or any pet, within its area of influence regardless of their age. Your pets could also be injured or worse.

Are there any warning signs of the presence of carbon monoxide?

You may observe common flu like symptoms in someone who is actually suffering from Carbon Monoxide inhalation with features like: –
– persistent headaches
– light headiness
– loss of energy
– sickness

If you notice symptoms such as these when you have gas appliances in the home, stop using the appliance without delay, increase ventilation to the rooms, take any inhabitants outside and ensure that your gas appliances are inspected by a CORGI registered gas engineer.

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