What is the Function of Carbon Monoxide Detectors?

January 13, 2023
A carbon monoxide detector on the ceiling

Hundreds of Americans die annually from accidental carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, and an additional 50,000 Americans are hospitalized from breathing in this deadly gas every year. Carbon monoxide leaks can occur without warning, and many go unnoticed until it is too late. 

When carbon monoxide is inhaled, it can cause severe illness and even death.

A carbon monoxide detector is the only reliable way to make you aware of a carbon monoxide leak in your home. If your home or business does not have a carbon monoxide detector, it’s crucial to schedule an installation to ensure your loved ones or colleagues remain safe.

What is Carbon Monoxide (CO)?

Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless gas found in the fumes produced by cars or trucks, stoves, grills, fireplaces, gas ranges, space heaters, gas-powered generators, fireplaces, and other similar devices. CO is extremely harmful to people and animals because it prevents blood from carrying oxygen to the cells. Increased levels of carbon monoxide within an enclosed area create a lack of oxygen in the blood, ultimately leading to cardiorespiratory failure. 

A household appliance unknowingly producing too much CO is the most common cause of a carbon monoxide leak. A carbon monoxide detector in your home can help save lives.

Avoiding a Potential CO Leak

When appliances are operated safely and properly maintained, they are not likely to leak carbon monoxide. But with the improper use of equipment, or if the equipment has not been properly maintained, you’re at a higher risk of a carbon monoxide leak in the home. 

Keep in mind, carbon monoxide leaks can occur if cars or machinery are accidentally left running in the garage. Always be sure to turn off your car, lawnmower, or other pieces of equipment if the garage door is shut.

Many modern homes are designed with insulation that blocks the flow of fresh air. While this may be great during winter to avoid chilly breezes, the impact of a carbon monoxide leak is often accelerated in homes that lack sufficient airflow. Be sure to open all air vents, and occasionally crack a window if gas-operated equipment is in use.


The Importance of Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Let this sink in: The majority of deaths in the United States caused by carbon monoxide poisoning could have been prevented with the use of a carbon monoxide detector.

Because carbon monoxide cannot be detected by sight or smell, it is nearly impossible to detect a carbon monoxide leak in a home without a gas leak detector. A CO alarm will alert you when the dangerous gas concentration in the air reaches a dangerous level. 

Carbon monoxide detectors use effective sensors that respond to carbon monoxide exposure. Battery-powered carbon monoxide detectors are preferred for homeowners, as they will continue to function during a power outage. Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed on each floor of a home, and a recommended practice is installing them near bedrooms and gas appliances. 

And don’t forget to check your carbon monoxide detector batteries regularly! It’s good practice to check your detector once a month. Keep extra batteries on hand too, so you’re prepared when they inevitably need to be replaced.


Installing a CO Detector: How We Can Help

Taking care of your home requires taking care of those who live there. Ensuring every loved one is safe from a potential CO leak is crucial, and the Jason Wright team is here to help.

Our team delivers exceptional, personalized service to residences throughout the Kansas City metro area. When you choose our services, you can rest assured you’ll know every detail of your electrical project is met with excellence from start to finish. Our mission is at the core of everything we do — And we’ve created a company that is proud of our roll-your-sleeves-up approach. We want to be your Electrical Concierge!

Contact us today for more information about carbon monoxide detector installation.