GEMCH Blog

Carbon Monoxide Monitors

Dangers of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide, or CO, is a colorless, odorless toxic gas that is produced anytime fuel or carbon-based materials are burned. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every year, over 400 individuals die from accidental CO poisoning while over 20,000 are taken to the room and 4,000 are hospitalized. Since the majority of the population owns some type of equipment that burns fuel including cars, grills, furnaces, and more, everyone is at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Small amounts of CO can cause flu-like symptoms including:

  • Persistent headache
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Confusion
  • Weakness
  • Upset stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Chest pain

Inhaling large amounts of CO, on the other hand, can make you pass out or even kill you. That is why it is important to seek treatment if you have inhaled or suspect that you are suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Do You Need Carbon Monoxide Monitors in Your Home?

Installing carbon monoxide monitors is a great way to safeguard your home if the presence of CO cannot be prevented. This device can sense the presence of CO in your indoor air and sounds an alarm to warn you.

Families who own at least one of the following equipment should consider getting CO monitors:

  • Furnaces, boilers, or fireplace powered by oil
  • Wood or wood-burning products such as woodstove, fireplace, etc.
  • Natural gas appliances including furnaces, cooking stoves, water heaters, etc.
  • Products that use gas or diesel

If your work or business involves running vehicles in a poorly ventilated space, you should also consider installing a monitor in that area.

Finding the Right Monitor for Your Home

There are several carbon monoxide monitors that are available in the market today. When selecting one for your home, make sure that you choose a unit that is easy to understand and operate by anyone in your household.

Below are some important tips in purchasing a CO monitor:

  • Look for a monitor with high accuracy level
  • Make sure that it is listed with Underwriters Laboratory or UL
  • Choose one with a clear digital display and has a peak level memory feature
  • Opt for a battery-operated or a plug-in with battery back-up

You should also be able to determine the number of units that you need for your home. Depending on the size of your house and the carbon-based appliances you own, you may need more than one or two units for your home. Install at least one unit on every floor and in sleeping areas, but make sure that the alarms are at least 15 feet away from any cooking or heating appliances that can cause false alarms. Maintain your CO monitors by regularly replacing the batteries and ensuring that they are still accurate.

In the event that the alarm goes off, do not panic. Gather every person in your household and exit immediately. Call 911 and have yourself and your family checked at a hospital for signs of carbon monoxide poisoning.

This article contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. The information is not intended to replace the advice or diagnosis of a physician. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare providers.

Categories: Wellness, Prevention