By Greg, Pacific Aire Comfort Advisor,
Whether you do it when you set your clocks back or when the kids go back to school, checking your carbon monoxide detectors is a vital fall ritual. While the detectors obviously should be operational, you should also check to make sure that they are installed in the right places, too.
Carbon monoxide (CO) detectors are your only protection against carbon monoxide, a silent, odorless but potentially deadly gas that is emitted from gas furnaces, stoves, dryers, water heaters and space heaters. CO also flows from fireplaces and car exhaust, which may infiltrate your home through the garage.
Hundreds of people die every year from CO poisoning, though the early signs are often mistaken for the flu, and include symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, fatigue and nausea. Severe overexposure can result in the loss of muscular coordination and mental capacity, vomiting and unconsciousness. Some people also suffer severe chest pains.
Carbon monoxide detectors, the only way you can be alerted to dangerous levels of CO in your home, should be installed on every floor, in the basement and near or over an attached garage. Also, they should be mounted within 10 feet of each bedroom door so that even the soundest sleeper can respond to the alarm.
Carbon monoxide detectors should not be installed near fuel-burning appliances, however. Play it safe and install them at least 15 feet away from cooking and heating devices and very humid areas, such as bathrooms.
Check the manufacturer's directions before testing your carbon monoxide detectors. A test button assesses the circuitry, not the accuracy of the sensor. It's always a good idea to change the batteries twice a year, in the spring and fall.
Purchasing new detectors may seem daunting, so let the experts at Pacific Aire Heating & Cooling lead the way. We’ll explain the different models and features and then help you select the best detectors for your home. We’ve been safety advocates for homeowners in the Ventura and Santa Barbara counties since 1990, and we’d like to have the pleasure of protecting your family against the hazards of CO, too.
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