• Carbon Monoxide – Alarms and Detectors

    Carbon Monoxide – Alarms and Detectors

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    Have you checked your carbon monoxide alarms lately? Do you have at least one carbon monoxide alarm in your home? When is the last time you tested it?

    Carbon Monoxide_Detector

    I was exposed to carbon monoxide this fall. It is an invisible odorless gas that starves the body of oxygen. It’s a good thing that I follow the standard recommendation of having my furnace inspected and tuned up each year, just as it’s also recommended your chimney be inspected, and cleaned if necessary, annually.

    When the HVAC Tech showed up he noticed that the PVC pipe had come apart, pumping carbon monoxide into my home. I was very lucky. It could have been a fatal mistake if I had waited because I rarely frequent the area in my basement where the furnace is located. I had relied on the safety of my carbon monoxide alarm to let me know if there was a problem. As it turns out, the alarm didn’t work.

    What most people don’t know is that the sensors in carbon monoxide alarms have a limited shelf life of usually 3 – 7 years. Mine was about 5 years old. And, last fall when I changed the batteries in my smoke detector I forgot to test the carbon monoxide alarm. It had beeped in the spring time when I tested it so I know it was working then. This fall was the ONE TIME that I didn’t do this and it could have cost me my life.

    I recommend that you have at least two working carbon monoxide detectors in your home at all times. One should be in the sleeping area(s) of your home. If these are in different wings or on different levels then keep adding carbon monoxide alarms till you have one on each level and wing. Each spring and fall when you change your smoke detector batteries please use the test button on your alarms to make sure they are still working!

    Stay tuned for more articles on carbon monoxide.

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