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Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detector Safety

» Posted on: Feb. 3, 2008 · Print This Print This

Carbon monoxide is a by-product of incomplete combustion. Its sources include malfunctioning appliances, such as furnaces, stoves, space heaters and hot water heaters which operate by burning liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), or wood. Other sources of CO include blocked chimney flues, cooking appliances used for heating purposes, vehicle exhaust, and charcoal grills used in the home, camper, garage or other unventilated areas.When appliances malfunction or are inadequately ventilated, the amount of CO in the air can rise to a level that causes illness or death. Symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to those of the flu and can include dizziness, fatigue, headache and nausea. Since CO is colorless and odorless, most individuals never realize that they are being poisoned.

Carbon Monoxide Detector

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) points out that the first line of defense against carbon monoxide is to make sure that all appliances are properly installed, ventilated and maintained. This means that appliances and home heating systems (including chimneys and flues) should be inspected each year by a qualified inspector.

Recently, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) developed new construction and test standards (Standard 2034) for CO detectors. You should purchase models that meet these requirements.