Your home is one of your biggest investments and it's where you make most of your memories (גלאי פחמן חד חמצני). You'll want to protect it from any dangers that could threaten the health and safety of your family. While house fires may get the most attention, carbon monoxide is another hazard that can strike without warning. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that is a deadly poison that spreads through the air. If you have the right carbon monoxide detectors, they'll sound a loud alarm to warn you of its presence so that you can take action before the poisoning sets in.
There are different kinds of detectors that work in varying ways, depending on what kind of technology they use. Some are simple plug-in models that are plugged into any outlet in your home. They are backed up by batteries and offer a digital display that shows the CO levels in parts per million (ppm), a test button for weekly testing, and a peak level button to show you the highest CO concentration detected.
You'll also find smart models that connect to your smartphone and send you a notification when they detect carbon monoxide or smoke. This gives you a heads up whether you're at your home, at the office or on vacation.
When the detectors' alarm sounds, you should immediately leave your home or building. You should also open windows and doors to help air the area out, and don't reenter until the alarm stops sounding or emergency responders have declared your home safe to return to.
If you can, call 911 to report the situation and give them details about your home, including how many people are inside. They'll dispatch emergency personnel to check the area and see if anyone is suffering from any flu-like symptoms that suggest carbon monoxide poisoning.
The best place to install a carbon monoxide detector in your home is near any fuel-burning appliances, such as furnaces, water heaters, stoves and ovens. It's also a good idea to have a detector in every bedroom and on each floor of the home. You can also purchase detectors that are built into multipurpose smoke and fire alarms, which saves you time on installation.
In addition to carbon monoxide detectors that sound an alarm, you can also buy sensors that change colors or emit a vibration when they detect high levels of carbon monoxide. They're often less expensive than standalone detectors but are still effective at detecting the invisible killer and helping you escape from an unsafe environment. Be aware, however, that these sensors can sometimes give off false alarms due to changing temperatures and humidity levels in the home. They also may react to other chemical and household gases instead of carbon monoxide, making them less reliable than their counterparts.
Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Definition, Types and How to Choose
Known as the silent killer, carbon monoxide (CO) is a poisonous gas that can be fatal at any level of exposure. It has no color, odor or taste and is produced by fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, hot water heaters, ovens and ranges. Additionally, fireplaces, charcoal grills and car engines running in attached garages can produce carbon monoxide. A CO detector can alert you to its presence so that you can get out of the house and seek medical help immediately if needed.
Most CO detectors sound an alarm when they sense dangerous levels of the deadly gas, warning you to exit your home and call 911. However, many people don’t know what to do when their CO detector sounds an alarm because it may sound just like a smoke detector when in fact it is telling you something very different!
If the detector sounds an alarm, open any doors and windows to air out your home and turn off all fuel-burning appliances. Then, check to make sure everyone is okay and that no one has any flu-like symptoms such as dizziness, nausea or vomiting. Call 911 immediately and do not re-enter your home until emergency responders tell you it is safe to do so.
CO detectors are usually installed on the ceiling in areas near gas-powered appliances. They should be at least 5 feet away from those appliances, and ideally farther than that to ensure they can detect CO in the air. The detectors should also be located away from the kitchen, bathroom, sunny spots and open windows, as those sources of moisture could interfere with their ability to detect carbon monoxide.
You can purchase carbon monoxide detectors at most home improvement stores or big box hardware stores, but they are typically more expensive than smoke detectors. The best carbon monoxide detectors are made by reputable manufacturers such as UL Solutions and have a UL Certified label on their packaging, showing that they’ve passed a rigorous UL testing process. These detectors are more accurate and reliable than inexpensive plug-in models that can sometimes give false alarms.
Another option is to install detectors that take their cue from hemoglobin, the protein in your blood cells that carries oxygen. Hemoglobin becomes bright red when it comes into contact with carbon monoxide, so detectors that use this principle can detect the deadly gas by watching the change in color of the gel inside. They can be a more cost-effective solution than other types of detectors and are easy to maintain.