With the abundant use and consumption of energy in our homes, we often overlook the fact that most furnaces and combustion devices expend a high level of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can kill humans and animals if left undetected. Thousands of people die each year from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning, and in most cases, these incidences could have been prevented. Detection of carbon monoxide is not possible without an alarm. A carbon monoxide alarm can indicate a danger zone of gas in your home, which may require evacuation of the area.
The most important key to prevention of carbon monoxide poisoning is early detection; carbon monoxide alarms are available for your home at very little cost, and can literally help you and your family’s lives. People often overlook the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, as they will first experience flu-like symptoms, without a temperature. However, the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning can quickly be observed as the body becomes intoxicated by the gas. Light-headedness, nausea, and headaches often ensue, and excessive damage may even lead to permanent neurological disorders.
All homes and living spaces that use some sort of furnace, whether it is gas, oil, electric, or water, are at a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is creating during the process of combustion, and releases into the air quickly. When there is a leak, break, or lack of adequate ventilation, carbon monoxide poisoning can rapidly make its way into your home and breathing space. Most carbon monoxide alarms range in price from $30-$50 depending on the make and model. The importance of installing a carbon monoxide alarm in your home cannot be emphasized enough; early detection can easily lead to prevention and a safer home. Regular maintenance, sufficient ventilation, and ongoing check-ups are critical for home safety. For apartments or condos with shared spaces, it is even more important to install a carbon monoxide alarm as a neighbor’s lack of safety measures may lead to other safety concerns.
To select and purchase a reliable alarm, do keep in mind the following:
• Look for UL (Underwriters Laboratories) certification from the manufacturer to ensure quality
• Make sure the alarm is covered by a substantial warranty for defects or early breakages
• Look for displays that show varying levels of CO in the air, to give a more accurate gauge
• Look for a battery powered model so that it will still work during a power outage
• Purchase a minimum of one detector, ideally one in each main room
The Kiddie Carbon Monoxide Alarm made by Kiddie products is one great choice, priced at just under $39.95. It offers an LED light backlit display, and is a battery-powered device. The light-up indicator shows different CO levels in parts per million, making it much easier to detect a problem rather than just sounding an alarm. You can easily check the carbon monoxide level at any time with the simple display. The Kiddie Carbon Monoxide Alarm is high-quality and well-designed. The LED light is essential for those who may be hard of hearing, or visually impaired. The light flashes brightly and consistently, clearly indicating a problem immediately.
In addition to installing a carbon monoxide alarm, it’s important to regularly maintain your furnace, and check for any chimney blockages on a regular basis. Always remember to start your car only when the garage door is open; hundreds of people have been killed simply by leaving a running car in the garage for too long. Also, no home should be using a gas furnace to heat; always make sure to use safe and standardized heating furnaces for home use.